Singapore shares rose on Friday, with trading volume dominated by small-cap stocks such as HanKore Environment Tech Group Ltd and Cordlife Group Ltd, but gains may be capped as investors await the U.S. jobs data.
The Straits Times Index was up 0.6 percent at 3,165.82, in line with the rise in MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, after two of Europe's most important central banks assured investors they were in no hurry to wind down stimulus.
Singapore Exchange Ltd led gains on the index, rising around 2 percent. Transport operator ComfortDelGro Corp Ltd and Thai Beverage Pcl advanced 1.6 percent each.
Hankore shares jumped as much as 9.3 percent to S$0.047, the highest since March 27, on hopes that it could monetise some of its water treatment assets, traders said.
The company said in May that it was in preliminary talks with third parties about "the potential restructuring of the company's water treatment assets", though it warned that there was no certainty if it would lead to a definitive agreement.
Hankore was the third-highest traded stock by volume in the Singapore market, with nearly 95 million shares changing hands, 9.3 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
Shares of Cordlife, which provides cord blood banking services, jumped as much as 7.5 percent with 13.2 million shares traded, 1.2 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
Maybank Kim Eng said in a report today that Cordlife had an "overwhelming" 72 percent market share in Singapore and the entry of a new competitor, a joint venture between AsiaMedic Ltd and Cryoviva International, was not a threat to the company.
Cordlife is also keenly looking for opportunities to expand into countries nearby, possibly as early as this financial year, Maybank said. The broker maintained its "buy" rating and S$1.29 target price.