Bulls And Bears

Singapore shares up, in line with regional rally

Sentiment boosted in part by data showing increase in manufacturing output in October

The Singapore market ended the week on yet another buoyant note yesterday, in line with a regional rally.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 15.61 points or 0.55 per cent to 2,859.33 - up 20.68 points or 0.73 per cent for the week.

Turnover across the bourse was 1.69 billion units worth $1.22 billion.

Sentiment was likely lifted in part by numbers showing Singapore's manufacturing output grew 1.2 per cent in October over the same month last year.

Elsewhere in the region, Tokyo climbed 0.26 per cent, Shanghai gained 0.62 per cent and Hong Kong rose 0.51 per cent.

Analysts noted less direction coming from the foreign markets, with Wall Street closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

IG market strategist Pan Jingyi said the optimism that has led the recent rally in equities was built on US President-elect Donald Trump's "seeming mission to place economic growth as his prime directive".

But commodities have remained relatively flat, she added, citing crude oil and gold prices. "Consolidation ahead of major events is no surprise and we are expecting this, given what could be reckoned as the most important event of the year for crude oil prices next week - the Nov 30 Opec meeting."

All eyes will be on the Opec (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) meeting in Vienna, where major producers will try to implement supply curbs first outlined in late September.

At home, telco Singtel was again a key STI booster, climbing two cents or 0.5 per cent to $3.75. An OCBC Investment Research report reiterated its "buy" call on the stock, noting the group last week completed buying Intouch Holdings and Bharti Telecom shares, and the placement of shares to Temasek Holdings.

Among banks, DBS Group Holdings performed strongly, rising 25 cents or 1.5 per cent to $17.05, and OCBC Bank put on 11 cents or 1.3 per cent to $8.89. United Overseas Bank, however, dipped two cents or 0.1 per cent to $19.88.

Outside of the index, YuuZoo Corporation advanced 0.4 cent or 2.5 per cent to 16.4 cents. The social networking, e-commerce and entertainment firm morning said its new equity investment in movie studio Relativity Holdings Media - in which it had bought a 33.3 per cent stake for US$27.5 million (S$39 million) last month - will be at least US$15 million and up to US$150 million.

Ezion Holdings jumped 3.5 cents or 10.6 per cent to 36.5 cents. This came as DBS Group Research analyst Ho Pei Hwa reiterated a "buy" call on the firm as "one of the best proxies to ride oil recovery".

"We believe core earnings are near bottom and are comforted by Ezion's positive operating cash flow and lower gearing which are much needed in this environment."

The most active counter was Magnus Energy, which was flat at 0.1 cent on 187.9 million shares done.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore shares up, in line with regional rally'. Print Edition | Subscribe