SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - The Singapore index climbed to its highest in nearly a month on Friday, tracking gains across regional markets, on signs of improving momentum in the world’s biggest economies.
Asian equities rode the momentum set in motion the previous session by surveys showing China’s factory sector had its best performance in five months in May and U.S. factory output growth hit its fastest pace since February 2011.
The benchmark Straits Times index edged up 0.35 percent to an intra-day high of 3,277.03 points, its loftiest since April 25 and on track for a second straight weekly gain.
Transport operator Comfortdelgro Corporation Ltd led the index, surging 4 percent to an intraday high of S$2.35, rebounding from two days of losses after Singapore’s Land Transport Authority announced a major overhaul in the bus sector on Wednesday to encourage more competition and ease operators’ capital expenses.
Brokerage CIMB maintained its “add” rating on Comfortdelgro and increased its target price to S$2.59 from S$2.30. The new system should help to alleviate operating losses in running public bus services in Singapore and boost overseas growth, it said in a research note.
The brokerage also upgraded the public transportation sector in Singapore to “overweight” from “underweight”
Another top performer of the index was Global Logistic Properties Ltd, which rose 2.53 percent to an intraday high of S$2.84.
The logistics provider company registered a 20.2 percent revenue increase for the quarter ended March 31, compared to a year ago, driven by completion and lease-up of developments in China with increasing rents.
Among the biggest losers of the index, commodity firms Golden Agri-Resources Ltd and Wilmar International Ltd inched down 0.76 and 0.75 percent, respectively.
In other markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei was poised to score its first weekly gain in over a month, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a one-year high above 488. (Reporting by Brian Leonal; Editing by Himani Sarkar)