REGIONAL markets started the week on a strong note, as investors shopped for stocks amid hopes that Europe and the United States would soon unveil stimulus plans to invigorate their economies.
Investors in Singapore joined in the optimistic mood, picking up blue chips that were sold down last week.
By the end of the day, the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) had risen 34.31 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 3,032.8.
"Here in Singapore, we spent most of the day with the STI trading either side of 3,020. However, as Europe opened for business and equities there did not immediately sell off, we saw another move higher in our market," noted Mr Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore.
Most Asian bourses also closed higher, with Tokyo advancing 0.8 per cent and Hong Kong surging 1.6 per cent.
Shanghai, however, fell 0.9 per cent amid concerns about lower-than-expected corporate earnings.
Genting Singapore was the most active stock, rising on profit-taking after slumping to a two-year low last Thursday as investors worried that its second-quarter results would disappoint.
It ended nine cents higher at $1.315, with 118.6 million shares changing hands.
Luye Pharma was next, soaring 13 cents, or 12 per cent, to $1.25 on turnover of 75 million shares.
The company said yesterday that its public float had fallen below 10 per cent and that its major shareholders had been involved in a series of married trades last Friday. Married trades occur when a seller and buyer agree on the price without the shares going on the open market.
The third most active stock was Golden Agri-Resources, which climbed two cents to 73.5 cents with 68.6 million shares traded, as palm oil prices edged up to a one-week high.
Other commodity players were also boosted. Noble Group gained two cents to $1.065 and Indofood Agri added half a cent to $1.395.
Cambridge Industrial Trust gained half a cent to 59.5 cents.
It announced before the market opened yesterday that its second-quarter net property income had risen 8.8 per cent over the same period a year earlier to $18.4 million.
Ascott Residence Trust added 1.5 cents to $1.225, after saying on Friday that its unit-holders' distribution for the second quarter had risen 3 per cent from a year earlier to $27.1 million.