singapores straits times index closes above 3000 1586282015

Regional markets buoyed by hopes of a delay in the US fed interest rate ‘liftoff’.


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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Singapore stocks closed higher Thursday in line with the prevailing bullishness in Asian markets following investors’ increasing conviction that the US Fed is likely to delay the much feared interest rate hike to next year. Overnight data on US retail sales was disappointing and helped reinforce the perception.

The local bourse closed above the technically significant level of 3,000 at the end of a session marked by decent volumes and good market breadth.

Indices

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 31.22 points or 1.05 per cent higher to 3,015.14, taking the year-to-date performance to -10.40 per cent.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.52 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.79 per cent.

The Singapore Exchange traded a volume of 1,531.3 million shares valued at SG$1,098.3 million. Gainers outnumbered losers by 288/129.

Amongst the FTSE ST sectors, the top gaining sectors included utilities (+1.93 per cent), basic materials (+1.64 per cent), industrials (+1.51 per cent), oil and gas (+1.47 per cent), Catalist index (+1.43 per cent), technology (+1.33 per cent), and consumer goods (+1.16 per cent). There were no losing sectors.

Stocks

Trading of shares in Sunmoon Food Co Ltd (SGX:AAJ), which were in a trading halt, has been converted to a suspension, following enquiries by the Monetary Authority of Singapore addressed to First Alverstone Capital, a key shareholder and fund owned by SunMoon executive chairman Gary Loh and his wife, Ms Selena Cheng. According to the Straits Times, the queries by the MAS relate to certain transactions in shareholdings by the fund on September 18.

Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SGX:C6L) was up 0.27 per cent to SG$11.01. Passenger data for September released on Thursday showed that the airline ferried 1.568 million passengers last month, just a shade higher than 1.56 7 million passengers it carried in September 2014. However, the airline’s passenger load factor for European and American flights declined due to weak demand. "The competitive landscape continues to be challenging and promotional activities will continue in relevant markets," SIA said.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Limited (SGX:O39)’s head of corporate finance, Ms Tay Toh Sin, revealed to the Straits Times that there is global interest in the acquisition of Singapore’s energy companies. "A number of overseas companies are now looking to take advantage of the falling valuations and market volatility to acquire oil and gas-related companies or assets here," said Ms Tay, observing that the FTSE ST Oil and Gas Index has fallen nearly 40 per cent since June last year.

Singapore Post Limited (SGX:S08) was up 0.56 per cent to SG$1.79. The company acquired a stake of 96.3 per cent in US e-commerce provider TradeGlobal for US$168.6 million (SG$236 million). “As SingPost’s and TradeGlobal’s eCommerce platforms and warehouse networks are complementary, their clients can expect to leverage integrated technology and fulfilment capabilities. This combination creates a one-stop global solution,” SingPost said.

Capitaland Mall Trust (SGX:C38U) was up 1.51 per cent to SG$2.02. The trust has sold the Rivervale Mall at Sengkang to a private equity fund managed by AEW Asia for SG$190.5 million, booking a profit of about SG$72 million after accounting for relevant expenses. CMT is Singapore’s largest retail property landlord and also the largest real estate investment trust (REIT) by market capitalization, said TODAY.

KEPPEL DC REIT (SGX:AJBU) reported third-quarter net distribution income of SG$14.5 million up 2.2 per cent compared to its forecast in the IPO. Distribution per unit was 2.5 per cent higher at 1.64 Singapore cents.

Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) jumped 5.32 per cent to SG$0.50 on strong volumes, benefiting from a buy call initiated by Jefferies analyst Abhijit Attavar.

Economic news

Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released Thursday showed that property developers in Singapore sold only 341 private homes during September, the lowest volume so far in 2015, down 34 per cent from August and 47 per cent on the prior year period. The reasons for the slump included developers’ caution before launching projects around the time of the general elections, the Hungry Ghost month and school vacations, the Business Times said.

According to the latest report by Knight Frank, office rents will potentially decline further in Singapore, though they will likely move higher in other global cities, driven by increased urbanisation and higher demand economic growth. Between now and end-2018, Singapore office rentals are expected to decline by 3 per cent due to slowing demand and consolidation of office space, the Straits Times said.

According to Singapore’s Department of Statistics, Retail sales in Singapore increased 6.1 per cent in August compared with the previous year, mainly due to a sharp increase in the sales of motor vehicles. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 1.3 per cent year-on-year.

On Wall Street Thursday, stocks ended with solid gains on the back of a strong earnings report from Citigroup and benign data on US inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 217 points, or 1.28 percent, to 17,141.75, the S&P 500 gained 29.62 points, or 1.49 percent, to 2,023.86, its highest level in eight weeks, and the Nasdaq Composite added 87.25 points, or 1.82 percent, to 4,870.10.

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