Singapore stocks end up 0.64 pct

SINGAPORE, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.64 percent higher on Monday, buoyed by gains on Wall Street last Friday.

U.S. stocks ended at its highest level of the year on Friday as oil prices climbed further and investors reassessed stimulus steps taken by the European Central Bank last week. The Paris-based International Energy Agency said the oil market may have hit bottom. U.S. crude rose 2 percent on Friday, and also logged its fourth straight gaining week. Brent crude futures gained nearly 1 percent on Friday and made its third weekly gain in a row.

Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 18.20 points to 2,847.06 points. Trading volume was 1.38 billion shares worth 970 million Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 229 to 190, while 500 stocks did not move.

Del Monte Pacific sank 17.7 percent to 32.5 Singapore cents. It recorded earnings of 590,000 U.S. dollars, owing to the absence of a large provision for inventory and foreign exchange losses it had recorded a year ago. A year earlier, it posted a loss of 2.2 million U.S. dollars. But its revenue fell 7 percent to 594.1 million U.S. dollars due to weaker sales in its U.S. subsidiary. This was partially offset by a better performance in the Philippines, where sales grew 6 percent on the back of holiday season advertising campaigns.

Keppel Corporation fell 0.3 percent to 6.04 Singapore dollars. Its subsidiary, Keppel Fels, is on track to deliver within the contracted schedule a fifth high-spec accommodation semisub to Floatel International. The semisub built to Keppel's proprietary SSAU 5000 NG design, was named Floatel Triumph and will be chartered by Inpex Australia for work in the Ichthys gas field development off Western Australia.

Among top gainers, Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 0.9 percent to 39.99 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Strategic became one of the top losers by falling 0.8 percent to 28.50 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.38 Singapore dollars)

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