singapores sti ends flat as investors turn cautious 962332015

The Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) rockets higher by 28 per cent as short sellers scurry for cover

Blue avatar for guest contributors
By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Bearish overnight cues from Wall Street, and disappointing economic numbers from China tempered investor sentiment on the Singapore Exchange, which closed nearly unchanged on Tuesday. Investors also preferred to keep a low profile until the release of the US jobs data later this week – statistics that could have a major bearing on the US Fed’s decision on when, and if, to raise interest rates.

The STI closed flat despite a dramatic, nearly 28 per cent rebound in shares in Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) after short sellers made a hasty retreat following the company’s bullish announcements on Monday. Noble was the top gainer on the bourse yesterday.

Indices and sectors

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 1.75 points or 0.05 per cent lower to 3,191.04, taking the year-to-date performance to -5.17 per cent.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.48 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.15 per cent.

The Singapore Exchange traded a volume of 1,958.4 million shares valued at SG$1,365.2 million. Gainers outnumbered losers by 232/206.

Amongst the FTSE ST sectors, the top gainers included maritime (+3.43 per cent), healthcare (+2.92 per cent), basic materials (+2.91 per cent), China top index (+1.84 per cent) and telecommunications (+1.14 per cent). Losing sectors included technology (-0.95 per cent), industrials (-0.54 per cent) and consumer goods (-0.15 per cent).


Shares in Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) vaulted 27.66 per cent to SG$0.600 on hectic short-covering. This was the counter’s biggest single day advance in over 15 years, and recouped most of its losses last week. Noble was the most actively traded stock on the SGX yesterday, with over 263 million shares changing hands. According to data tracked by Bloomberg, Noble was the most heavily shorted stock in the STI as on July 31, with short interest as a percentage of outstanding shares standing at 9.7 per cent. Despite Tuesday’s gains, the company’s shares are still down by 50 per cent since February. The short-covering was likely triggered by the company’s announcement that it had been approached by several parties with financing and investment options.

SembCorp Industries Limited (SGX:U96) rose 2.98 per cent to SG$3.46. The engineering conglomerate said second quarter earnings jumped 25 per cent to SG$223.6 million, with profits boosted by the sale of subsidiary Sembcorp Bournemouth Water Investment for SG$54.7 million in April this year. However, revenue was down 5.8 per cent to SG$2.39 billion due to weakness in the core utilities and marine businesses, according to the Straits Times.

Investors appeared to have shrugged off the latest technical glitch in the trading operations of the Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX:S68). On Monday (August 3) trading in the derivatives section was suspended for an hour-and-a half due to a technical fault, its third such disruption within the past one year. However, the exchange quickly decided to switch to backup systems and minimised the down time. According to the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), investors and brokers appear not to have been affected much by the glitch, said Channel News Asia.

Ho Bee Land Ltd (SGX:H13) closed higher by 0.5 per cent at SG$2.03. The company made its second prime office acquisition in London’s West End inside of a week. It announced Tuesday that its wholly-owned subsidiary, HB Mayfair, has agreed to acquire 110 Park Street, Mayfair, from Aberdeen Asset Management for £45.8 million (SG$98 million). Last week, Ho Bee said it had acquired a freehold office building at 39 Victoria Street in London for £144 million from British Land.

Swiber Holdings Limited (SGX:AK3) announced Monday that it had secured an US$80 million (SG$110.57 million) letter of intent for the installation of pipelines and supporting structures from a global energy company in Latin America, as reported by the Business Times. Following the order, Swiber’s order book will rise to about US$1.9 billion.

Economic news

According to Channel News Asia, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will release detailed gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter on Tuesday, August 11, at 8 AM in its Economic Survey of Singapore. On July 14, MTI’s flash GDP estimate showed that the economy expanded in the second quarter by a slower than expected 1.7 per cent compared to the prior year period.

On Wall Street on Monday, stocks ended lower on comments from Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart who said that the US economy was ready to absorb a hike in short-term interest rates. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 48 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 17,551. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to 2,093, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2 per cent to 5,106.

Related tags:

Open an account today

Experience award-winning platforms with fast and secure execution.

Web Trader platform

Our sophisticated web-based platform is packed with features.
Economic Calendar