Cautious sessions for major regional markets, STI ends 4.74 points down

 Pedestrians using an escalator that runs past an electronic screen and ticker board that indicates stock figures at the Singapore Exchange (SGX) headquarters in Singapore, Feb 26, 2016.
Pedestrians using an escalator that runs past an electronic screen and ticker board that indicates stock figures at the Singapore Exchange (SGX) headquarters in Singapore, Feb 26, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - It was another cautious session on Friday (May 19) that saw several major markets in the region trading in a tight range, as the pondering over the Donald Trump situation continued.

After an earlier selloff triggered by allegations that the United States President may have leveraged on Russian links in his election campaign, Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to close up 0.27 per cent overnight.

The regional gains were mostly marginal. Tokyo was up only 0.19 per cent, Hong Kong added 0.15 per cent and Shanghai inched up 0.02 per cent.

In Singapore, the benchmark Straits Times Index pared 4.74 points or 0.15 per cent to 3,216.92, having staggered between the day's range of 3,213 and 3,226. The whole market had S$1.12 billion worth of shares change hands.

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For the week, the STI was down 1.18 per cent, but the fact that local market is still holding steady with a near-term support level of 3,200 shows that investors have not lost sight of the improving fundamentals in Singapore's economy and corporate performance, IG market strategist Pan Jingyi told The Straits Times.

"The first quarter reporting season showed that, at least for the blue chips, earnings and turnover were largely better than expected.

"(The stock market) upside will be limited due to a lack of major catalyst, but I think investors are seeing good entry points right now despite the Trump scare."

Global Logistic Properties, one of the 13 STI gainers on Friday, impressed the market on Friday with a 61.7 per cent surge to the fourth quarter profit. It added three cents or 1.03 per cent to S$2.93.

The top gainer was CapitaLand Commercial Trust, jumping five cents or 3.07 per cent to S$1.68 on 17.9 million traded shares. Golden Agri-Resources was also hotly traded with 20.2 million shares transacted, closing up one cent or 2.70 per cent at 38 cents.

But there were also disappointments. Singapore Airlines slumped 78 cents or 7.25 per cent to S$9.98 - leading the 12 STI losers - after announcing its first quarterly loss in five years overnight.

SingTel was down three cents or 0.80 per cent to S$3.73 after 29.3 million shares changed hands, and CapitaLand Mall Trust dropped one cent or 0.51 per cent to S$1.955 on a turnover of 10.1 million shares.