Singapore shares higher on US jobs data

Singapore shares opened higher on Tuesday (Aug 8), with the benchmark Straits Times Index at 3,325.16 in early trade, up 0.14 per cent, or 4.49 points.
Singapore shares opened higher on Tuesday (Aug 8), with the benchmark Straits Times Index at 3,325.16 in early trade, up 0.14 per cent, or 4.49 points.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE -Singapore shares were up on Monday morning (July 10) following better-than-expected jobs data out of the United States.

The key Straits Times Index added 0.45 per cent, or 14.15 points, to 3243.4 by 12.35pm.

The Labor Department said on Friday that US employers added the most jobs in four months in June, although wage increases were still sluggish.

"US markets were all trading to the tune of a surprise in non-farm payroll numbers at the end of last week, setting Asian markets on a positive start this week," said IG market strategist Pan Jingyi.

"While the markets continue to take comfort in the fact that the Fed's relatively accommodative conditions have been creating jobs within the economy, the lack of translation to wage growth may remain a perplexing development that could trigger concerns if sustained in the longer run."

Singapore's move upwards was in line with Asian markets, which rose in tandem with their US counterparts.

Hong Kong rose more than 1.05 per cent, Tokyo piled on 0.8 per cent, while Sydney rose 0.3 per cent.

The Straits Times Index was boosted by bank stocks and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding.

UOB rose 0.82 per cent or 19 Singapore cents to S$23.41; DBS group gained 0.82 per cent or 17 cents to S$21 and OCBC edged up 0.7 per cent or eight cents to S$10.77.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was up 2.4 per cent or three cents to S$1.28.

Among the morning's movers were Alliance Mineral Assets, which fell 7.7 per cent to S$0.30.

This was likely due to announcements behind recent changes in interest for the company's chief executive and executive director.

The company said on Monday in an SGX filing that 72.3 million shares were seized from Living Waters Mining Australia, a private company wholly owned by Alliance Mineral chief executive Tjandra Adi Pramoko and his wife, executive director Simone Suen Sze Man, on July 7.

The seizure goes towards a $7-million debt to creditor Grande Pacific and follows a separate transfer of 46 million shares on June 16 under the settlement agreement.

The seized shares will be sold to satisfy the debt and interest and any remaining unsold shares are expected to be transferred back to Alliance Mineral .

In a market insight update, Maybank Kim Eng noted on Monday that the latest seizure of shares is likely to lead to an overhang on the Alliance Mineral stock price in the near term.