Bulls And Bears

Steady gains in Singapore market

Bourse chalks up seventh straight session of gains on year's busiest trading day so far

The Singapore bourse again clocked steady gains yesterday, extending its winning streak to seven straight sessions.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) put on 24.88 points or 0.86 per cent to close at 2,904.02. Turnover was a sizeable 2.89 billion shares worth $2.58 million - the busiest trading day so far this year.

Other markets in Asia mostly saw modest gains as traders kept to the sidelines ahead of a key Opec (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) meeting in Vienna.

Hong Kong climbed 0.23 per cent, Seoul rose 0.26 per cent and Tokyo edged up by just 0.01 per cent. Shanghai bucked the trend to fall 1 per cent.

Mr Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, told Bloomberg: "The oil market is unlikely to be impressed by any token, face-saving agreement from Opec.

"The substantial increase in Opec production over recent months will leave the market in a surplus position for some time unless it can agree on significant production cuts. Momentum continues to fade in a wide range of markets, including stocks, bonds, currencies and base metals."

This Opec pessimism put a cap on the rally sparked by Mr Donald Trump's surprise win in the US presidential election. Wall Street added just 0.12 per cent overnight, after touching record highs last week.

But markets were still lifted by encouraging data on US economic growth and home prices. Traders are awaiting the monthly US payrolls report due tomorrow.

Most of the STI's gains came from the Big Three: United Overseas Bank rose 33 cents or 1.6 per cent to $20.41, DBS Group Holdings advanced 20 cents or 1.2 per cent to $17.55 and OCBC Bank climbed six cents or 0.7 per cent to $9.08.

Ground-handling and inflight catering service provider Sats rose four cents or 0.8 per cent to $4.81 in heavy trade as it was added to the MSCI Singapore Index yesterday.

Noble Group slumped 1.3 cents or 7.6 per cent to 15.9 cents on 1.23 billion shares done - again the day's most hotly-traded - as the counter was removed from the index, along with Sembcorp Marine, which sank 8.5 cents or 5.7 per cent to $1.395.

Accordia Golf Trust was flat at 67 cents on news that MBK Partners Group has offered to buy all the shares of its Tokyo-listed sponsor, Accordia Gold, for US$760 million (S$1 billion). The trust said the buyout attempt is not expected to materially affect its business.

Offshore marine stocks were also active. Exploration and production company KrisEnergy shot up 2.5 cents or 16.7 per cent to 17.5 cents and Ezra Holdings lost 0.1 cent or 2.3 per cent to 4.2 cents. Ezion Holdings fell one cent or 2.9 per cent to 34 cents.

OCBC Investment Research analyst Low Pei Han, in a report, kept a "neutral" call on the broader sector, citing the "dim outlook and depressed valuation".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2016, with the headline 'Steady gains in Singapore market'. Print Edition | Subscribe