SINGAPORE, April 2 The benchmark Straits Times Index .FTSTI rose 3.9 percent as of 0613 GMT on Thursday.
The following stocks were on the move:
** PROPERTY FIRMS RISE ON U.S. HOME SALES **
Shares of Singapore property firms CapitaLand (CATL.SI) and City Developments (CTDM.SI) led a rally in property stocks on Thursday after better-than-expected U.S. home sales data raised hopes the economic downturn is moderating.
CapitaLand gained as much as 10.6 percent, while CityDev rose as much as 7 percent, after pending U.S. home sales went up by 1.2 percent in February. The rally came despite first quarter home prices in Singapore suffering their biggest drop since 1975.
"We are generally more positive over the outlook of financially strong developers with greater mass market exposure," said OCBC Securities in a note on Thursday, rating UOL Group (UTOS.SI) "buy" and City Developments "hold".
** OLAM RISES ON HIGHER PALM OIL PRICES **
Shares of Olam rose as much as 10.4 percent after benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures went up by 3.5 percent on Wednesday to their highest close in more than six months.
Investors had rushed to cover positions on fears of an imminent global vegetable oil supply squeeze. [ID:nKLR463696]
"Despite recession everywhere, commodities have more or less hit their worst and will keep off their lows," said a local trader.
0347 GMT (Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)
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