STI climbs 12 points amid positive sentiment across Asian bourses

Pedestrians walk past an electronic board displaying exchange rates on July 9, 2015.
Pedestrians walk past an electronic board displaying exchange rates on July 9, 2015.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - ASIAN markets recovered slightly yesterday, soothed by the waning pressures in both Greece and China.

Greece on Thursday came up with a fresh economic reform proposal, offering to meet most of the demands made by its creditors in a bid to win new funds and keep its place in the Eurozone.

In China, the markets rallied in the wake of government efforts to restore investor confidence, shaking off the brutal selldown that took place over the last three weeks.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index jumped 4.54 per cent, posting its first weekly gain after three straight weeks of losses, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 2.08 per cent.

The Nikkei 225 Index in Japan, however, slipped 0.38 per cent.

The brighter overall sentiment sent The Straits Times Index up 12.48 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 3,279.88 points.

Yesterday's gains were steered largely by vehicle distribution giant Jardine Cycle & Carriage, which rose 77 cents to S$31.77.

Bourse operator Singapore Exchange also did well, climbing 15 cents to S$8.13, while telco firm Singtel edged up three cents to S$4.29.

Singapore Technologies Engineering added five cents to S$3.31, following the firm's announcement on Thursday that its aerospace arm has clinched new contracts worth S$920 million in the second quarter of this year.

On the other side of the ledger, Singapore Airlines tumbled 15 cents to S$10.80, while United Overseas Bank dropped six cents to S$22.76.

Outside of the blue chips, oilfield services firm Ezra Holdings gained 0.1 cent to 15.8 cents.

This was even as the group on Thursday reported a net loss of US$3 million (S$4.05 million) for the third quarter ended May 31.

OCBC Investment Research analyst Low Pei Han said in a report that the results were "below expectations".

"Looking ahead, the operating environment of the subsea division is expected to be challenging, and the offshore support vessel segment is also expected to see lower charter rates as well."

She maintained a "hold" rating on the stock.

SIIC Environment, which specialises in water treatment and management, was again the day's most active counter, with 78.6 million shares changing hands.

The stock closed one cent up at 18.3 cents.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg