UPDATE 1-Singapore Exchange's half-year profit lifted by strong trading across assets

(Adds details on derivatives trading, outlook, dividend)

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Singapore Exchange Ltd said on Thursday its first-half profit rose 7%, amid broad-based gains across asset classes and record volumes in key contracts.

The bourse operator, which earns about two-third of its revenue from stock and equity derivative trades, said trading volumes for its flagship iron ore contracts recorded their best half-year ever.

Derivatives trading volume for iron ore jumped 46% as demand flourished from China's scaling back of its zero-COVID curbs, prompting the company to accelerate the financialisation of iron ore and expand service offering.

"We will continue to ramp up our client coverage in the U.S. and Europe to capture the uptake in activity, especially on the back of China's reopening," said Chief Executive Officer Loh Boon Chye.

The bourse operator's adjusted net profit attributable was S$236.8 million ($178.53 million) for the period ended Dec. 31, 2022, compared with S$221.8 million a year earlier.

It now expects full-year expense growth and capital expenditure to be at the lower end of prior guided range of 7%-9% and S$70 million-S$75 million, respectively.

The firm also declared an interim quarterly dividend of 8 Singapore cents per share, similar to last year ago. ($1 = 1.3264 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Savyata Mishra and Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Uttaresh.V)