singapores sti ends marginally higher on the last day of the week 1055422015

Bargain-hunting may have supported the STI

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

The Singapore stock exchange Straits Times Index ended Friday on a positive note, though the day’s trading was marked by low volumes across the market. The broad market ruled weak given the declines in the mid cap and small cap indices and the negative market breadth.

Singapore stocks have received some support from the realisation that the devalued yuan would help the slowing Chinese economy, a plus factor ultimately for Singapore. According to analysts, investors may also be bargain-hunting for overly beaten down stocks.

Indices and sectors

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 22.47 points or 0.73 per cent higher at 3,114.25, taking the year-to-date performance to -7.46 per cent.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.09 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined 0.24 per cent.

The Singapore Exchange traded a volume of 1,281.4 million shares valued at SG$981.8 million. Losers outnumbered gainers by 241/195.

Amongst the FTSE ST sectors, the top gainers included telecommunications (+1.85 per cent), consumer services (+0.95 per cent), maritime (+0.67 per cent) and financials (+0.51 per cent). Amongst the big losers were technology (-1.83 per cent), basic materials (-1.67 per cent), utilities (-1.23 per cent) and oil and gas (-1.08 per cent).


Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (SGX:S63) said net profit during the second quarter ended June fell 6 per cent to SG$125 million compared to SG$133.2 million in the prior year period, while revenue fell 3 per cent to SG$1.55 billion. Earnings were impacted by a sharp 7 per cent drop in revenues at the company’s marine sector, according to Channel News Asia.

Isetan Singapore Ltd (SGX:I15) said net loss during the second quarter ended June rose sharply to SG$5.85 million, from SG$1.21 million in the prior year period, on the back of slowing economic growth and stiff retail competition in Singapore. The second-quarter loss was more than the full year 2014 loss of SG$3.14 million.

The Singapore Exchange has advised investors and shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of China-based CEFC International Ltd (SGX:Y35), according to Channel News Asia. The exchange found on scrutiny that the buying volume in the stock was concentrated in a small number of offshore accounts which accounted for more than 40 per cent of the total trading volume between July 10 and August 6, a period during which the company’s shares surged sharply higher by 33.1 cents.

Courts Asia Ltd (SGX:RE2) said net profit during the first quarter ended June jumped 19 per cent to SG$6 million, up from SG$5.1 million in the prior year period, led by stronger contributions from Malaysia and Indonesia that offset weak operations in Singapore.

Swiber Holdings Limited (SGX:AK3) said Friday that net loss during the second quarter ended June slumped to US$4.57 million compared to US$7.5 million in the prior year period, while group revenue slipped 8.7 per cent to US$200.2 million from US$219.3 million, according to the Business Times. The company attributed the fall in performance to a lower number of contracts executed.

Economic news

National Development Minister, Khaw Boon Wan said in an interview with TODAY last week that though Singapore’s property market is “a lot less hot,” and in certain sectors the price fall has been “drastic,” the government has no intention of removing property cooling measures as yet. “Measures have to be adjusted and perhaps even lifted, when it’s the right time. The right time is when the equilibrium is a lot more certain, more sustainable. And I don’t think we are at that point yet,” Mr Khaw said.

According to Singapore’s Department of Statistics, retail sales grew 6.9 per cent year-on-year in June, mainly on the back of a spike in sales of motor vehicles, according to Channel News Asia. If motor vehicle sales were to be excluded, overall retail sales fell 3 per cent compared to the prior year period.

On Wall Street Friday, stocks rose following the release of solid US data on wholesale prices and industrial production. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.15 points or 0.40 per cent to 17,477.40, the broad-based S&P 500 gained 8.15 (0.39 per cent) to 2,091.54, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 14.68 (0.29 per cent) to 5,048.24.

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