singapores straits times index clocks a gain of 0 41 per cent 1641402015

Penny stocks’ volumes take a pause.

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Shares on the Singapore exchange edged to a moderately higher close on Thursday despite negative cues from the overnight weak close on Wall Street, and the Shanghai Composite’s soft opening.

However, the broad market also confirmed the gains on the STI, with both the midcap and small cap indices up nearly 0.5 per cent each. Though volumes halved from the previous session, this may have been due to investors taking a breather from churning their penny stocks. No stock clocked a volume in excess of 100 million shares, though this was a common phenomenon in recent sessions.

Indices and Sectors

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 12.41 points or 0.41 per cent higher at 3,038.11, taking the year-to-date performance to -9.72 per cent.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.47 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.47 per cent.

The Singapore Exchange traded a volume of 1,246.7 million shares valued at SG$680.7 million. Gainers outnumbered losers by 219/166.

The top gaining FTSE ST sectors included basic materials (+4.24 per cent), consumer services (+1.13 per cent), CataList index (+0.95 per cent), telecommunications (+0.68 per cent), consumer goods (+0.63 per cent) and China Top Index (+0.58 per cent). Industrials (-0.70 per cent) and technology (-0.41 per cent) were the only two losing sectors.


The day’s highest volume was recorded by Asia Pacific Strategic Investments Ltd (SGX:5RA), which traded about 82 million shares and fell 53.125 per cent to SG$0.015. Informatics Education Ltd (SGX:I03) surged 41 per cent to SG$0.055 after trading 67 million shares, while ISR Capital Ltd (SGX:5EC) zoomed higher by 28.57 per cent to SG$0.009 with 17 million shares changing hands. Loyz Energy Ltd (SGX:594) was up 5.06 per cent on a volume of 41 million shares and Stratech Group Ltd (SGX:ATN) gained 3.51 per cent to close at SG$0.059 on a volume of 39 million shares.

Genting Singapore PLC (SGX:G13) was up 7.05 per cent to SG$0.835 on a volume of 56 million shares, gaining from a halo effect from strong third-quarter earnings at the competing Marina Bay Sands (MBS) resort. "I think the discouragement or pessimism about Singapore is based upon how our competitor in Singapore is doing,” crowed MBS boss Sheldon Adelson, referring to Genting Singapore. “Can you imagine we're doing double the total amount of business? We own 65 per cent of the market."

Capitaland Mall Trust (SGX:C38U) fell nearly 1 per cent to SG$2.03. The shopping mall landlord’s distribution per unit for the three months ended September 30 jumped 9.6 per cent to 2.98 cents on the back of a 10.2 per cent increase in total distributable income to SG$103.2 million. The results were credited to higher tenants’ sales and shopper traffic, according to Straits Times. "Portfolio occupancy as at Sept 30 remained high at 96.8 per cent, despite ongoing asset enhancement initiatives and reconfiguration works at some of our malls," said Wilson Tan, chief executive of the manager.

Frasers Centrepoint Trust (SGX:J69U) gained 1.01 per cent to SG$2.01. The REIT declared fourth-quarter distributable income of SG$25.7 million, up 0.9 per cent, on the basis of average occupancy levels of 96 per cent and rental reversions of 7.1 per cent. “Some of the occupancy fluctuations you see are most likely short-term, as retailers re-position, and we ourselves – the mall operators – will also be looking to re-position the malls for the future," said CEO of Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management, Mr Chew Tuan Chiong, in the context of difficult externalities faced by the general industry such as manpower shortage and shifting consumer trends.

Keppel Corporation Limited (SGX:BN4) gained 0.41 per cent to SG$7.29. For the third quarter ended September 30, the conglomerate said net profit was SG$363 million, down 12 per cent from SG$414 million in the prior year period. Revenue for the quarter was SG$2.44 billion, down 23 per cent from a year earlier. The company attributed the weak results to difficulties in the offshore and marine business such as a fall in the demand for drilling rigs.

Sats Ltd (SGX:S58) was up 1.05 per cent to SG$3.86. The company said that one of its subsidiaries has made an offer to acquire a 49 per cent stake in in-flight caterer Brahim's Airline Catering Holdings for RM218 million (SG$70.8 million). Brahim's offers catering services to 28 global airlines, including Malaysia Airlines Bhd, AirAsia and Cathay Pacific, said the Straits Times. Brahim's Holdings, the parent company, is said to be "currently considering the terms of the offer".

Hospital owner First Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX:AW9U) has agreed to sell an empty plot of land in Surabaya for SG$8.2 million, and also an existing hospital building adjoining this plot for at least SG$27.5 million to Lippo Karawaci. The latter will build a new hospital which First Reit will purchase for SG$90 million, the Business Times said.

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX:A17U) said distributable income during the second quarter ended September 30 rose 14 per cent from a year earlier to SG$100.2 million, on the back of contributions from new acquisitions and higher occupancy rates. Distribution per unit for the quarter was 4.16 Singapore cents, up 13.7 per cent, the Straits Times said, while net property income rose 8 per cent to SG$123.8 million and gross revenue increased 10.8 per cent to SG$182.6 million.

Sembcorp Marine Ltd (SGX:S51) said net profit during the three months ended September 30 plunged 75.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis to SG$32.1 million, while revenue dropped 34 per cent to SG$1.1 billion. The company attributed the weak results to lower contributions from rig building, lower ship repair revenue and higher finance costs, according to the Straits Times.

Economic news

On Wall Street Thursday, stocks ended with solid gains on the back of stronger than expected earnings reported by top companies such as McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). In fact, the S&P 500 closed its highest level in over two months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 320.55 points, or 1.87 percent, to 17,489.16, the S&P 500 gained 33.57 points, or 1.66 percent, to 2,052.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 79.93 points, or 1.65 percent, to 4,920.05.

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