by Tan Shih Ming
SINGAPORE, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.35 percent higher on Friday, although some investors began to turn cautious and take profit after U.S. stocks fell overnight.
Wall Street lost momentum on Thursday following U.S. President Donald Trump's first solo news conference, where he took a combative stance against the news media and deflected questions about contacts between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 10.96 points to 3,107.65 points. Trading volume was 3.78 billion shares worth 1.44 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners slightly outnumbered advancers 228 to 227, while 628 stocks did not move.
United Overseas Bank Group rose 1.7 percent to 21.18 Singapore dollars. It reported net profit of 739 million Singapore dollars for fourth quarter, a 6.2 percent decline from 788 million Singapore dollars a year ago. This brings the group's full-year earnings to 3.1 billion Singapore dollars, 3.5 percent lower than a year ago. For the full year, its net interest margin (NIM) decreased 6 basis points to 1.71 percent.
CapitaLand inched up 0.3 percent to 3.46 Singapore dollars. It said it will acquire a portfolio of four income-producing office and retail properties in Japan's Greater Tokyo Area, at 49.7 billion Japanese yen. The acquisition will increase its total asset size in Japan to about 2.5 billion Singapore dollars. The portfolio comprises two office buildings in Yokohama, Yokohama Blue Avenue and Sun Hamada; one office building in Tokyo - Kokugikan Front; and one shopping mall in Saitama, Seiyu and Sundrug.
Among top gainers, ST Engineering jumped 6.5 percent to 3.62 Singapore dollars, whereas Jardine Strategic became one of the top losers by falling 0.6 percent to 38.82 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 112.95 Japanese yen and 1.42 Singapore dollars)