Business

Singapore shares close at 1-week high on improved outlook

Singapore stocks advanced today, while most other regional markets fell, helped by a central bank forecast of a moderate economic rebound for the city state, and Indonesian equities picked up after a post-election slump.

The Straits Times Index bounced back from previous losses after Singapore's central bank today said it would maintain a tight monetary policy, backed by optimism on the economic outlook, despite weak first-quarter data.

"The Singapore economy is expected to grow at a moderate pace in 2014, supported by the cyclical uplift in the industrialised economies," the Monetary Authority of Singapore said.

The Singapore index closed up 0.52% at 3214.83, the highest since April 3, led by industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings and subsidiary Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd, Reuters data showed.

Indonesia's Jakarta's Composite Index climbed 1%, with the banking sector outperforming others.

The region's second best performer so far this year has gained a combined 2.1% in two sessions, recouping after a more than 3% drop on Thursday amid political uncertainty that could impact investments in the country.

Stocks in the Philippines fell for a third straight day to close down 0.11% with trading at the lowest volume in almost three months, Reuters data showed.

Malaysia was nearly flat at 0.06% and Vietnam's VN Index lost 0.74% amid cautious sentiment and extended net selling by foreigner investors. – Reuters, April 14, 2014.

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