Bulls And Bears

Regional markets gather momentum

STI gains firmer footing with marginal rise as investors await news of global economic data

Regional markets continued their rebound from last week as investors took a more optimistic stance as they wait for the string of global economic data over the coming days.

Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) gained a marginal 3.78 points or 0.14 per cent to 2,660.65, firming its footing after hitting several 12-month lows in the past two months.

The overall trading volume was 1.29 billion shares worth $934.5 million across the entire market. But it was still a topsy-turvy session, showing that a good deal of uncertainty still remains.

Momentum was stronger elsewhere, with Shanghai rising 2.35 per cent and Shenzhen adding 2.04 per cent as Chinese investors welcomed news over the weekend that the China Securities Regulatory Commission chairman has been replaced.

Hong Kong was up 0.93 per cent and Tokyo put on 0.9 per cent. Kuala Lumpur was the odd one out, dropping 0.02 per cent.

These gains came ahead of announcements on United States and Europe data this week, including US fourth-quarter growth and new home sales, as well as the euro zone inflation rate.

While some are expecting good news, others are less confident. DBS analysts cautioned yesterday that the rallies will not last, saying: "Global equity markets enjoyed a technical rebound after the prior week's sell-off, and technical indicators suggest this rally should continue this week.

"But this up-move will likely have a limited shelf life as the economic fundamentals and earnings outlook remain weak."

Local investors will also keep an eye on further results announcements by big-cap firms in the coming days.

DBS announced a 20 per cent increase in fourth-quarter net profit for the three months to Dec 31, but its shares still dropped six cents or 0.44 per cent to $13.62 as the banking system's credit quality issues remain under scrutiny.

Genting Singapore rose 4.5 cents or 6.25 per cent to 76.5 cents after the gaming firm reported higher- than-expected core earnings last week. It led the 14 STI constituents that rose yesterday.

Golden Agri-Resources, which will announce its full-year results next Monday, put on one cent or 2.74 per cent to 37.5 cents, while CapitaLand jumped six cents or 2.09 per cent to $2.93.

Meanwhile, Sembcorp Marine snapped a four-day rise and dropped the most on the STI yesterday, losing six cents or 3.53 per cent to $1.64. Keppel Corp was also down, paring 13 cents or 2.43 per cent to $5.21.

Outside the STI, Spackman Entertainment was the top active of the day, gaining 1.3 cents or 11.71 per cent to 12.4 cents on 91.1 million shares traded. Pharmaceutical firm QT Vascular rose 0.8 cent or 6.96 per cent to 12.3 cents, with 60.3 million shares traded.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2016, with the headline 'Regional markets gather momentum'. Print Edition | Subscribe