Bulls and bears

STI edges closer to year's resistance level

Singapore market up as sentiment improves despite lack of major positive economic news

Singapore shares returned to positive territory after Tuesday's pause as the local bourse outperformed some regional markets.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 26.2 points or 0.9 per cent to 2,945.74 yesterday, with 1.18 billion shares worth $1.13 billion transacted across the market.

The local market performed better than some of its regional peers including Shanghai, which shed 0.29 per cent as investors remained wary over China's economic outlook, and Tokyo, which shed 0.25 per cent owing to profit taking after an extended run up.

The STI may soon test the resistance level around 2,960, its highest point this year, remisier Desmond Leong told The Straits Times.

"While there were no major economic or results announcements that could boost the market, the overall sentiment is just better now.

"There's a chance the STI can soon break the current resistance, perhaps even in this week. But we should keep in mind that since Brexit, it has already moved up over 200 points so more likely the market will hover around the current level."

The momentum saw 21 of the 30 STI components close higher. The top gainers included Hongkong Land Holdings, up 32 US cents or 5.19 per cent to US$6.48, and Thai Beverage, which rose 3.5 cents or 3.55 per cent to $1.02 on 52.2 million shares traded.


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Singtel resumed its climb, adding six cents or 1.42 per cent to $4.30, close to its full-year high of $4.31. Its blue chip competitor StarHub was close behind, rising five cents or 1.28 per cent to $3.96.

Wilmar International was the top STI loser, diving 19 cents or 5.67 per cent to $3.16 after announcing overnight that it expects a second-quarter net loss of about US$230 million (S$312 million).

DBS analyst Ben Santoso has put his buy call and target price of $3.76 for Wilmar under review, saying: "We estimate Wilmar's net earnings in financial year 2016 would be US$802 million, representing a 26 per cent cut from our current estimate of US$1,085 million."

CapitaLand Commercial Trust dropped one cent or 0.64 per cent to $1.56. Before the market opened, the trust announced a 0.5 per cent rise in distribution per unit to 2.2 cents for the quarter to June 30, but revenue dropped 2.2 per cent.

Outside the STI, Ascott Residence Trust, another CapitaLand entity, unveiled its second-quarter results, with its DPU up 2 per cent to 2.13 cents. The units rose one cent or 0.88 per cent to $1.145 ahead of the announcement.

Media firm mm2 Asia slid half a cent or 0.76 per cent to 65 cents.

At the end of its annual general meeting yesterday, the firm showcased its new virtual reality technology with subsidiary UnUsUal.

"Today we have a strong pipeline of productions, and have started expanding into the Chinese markets with several projects," chief executive Melvin Ang said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2016, with the headline 'STI edges closer to year's resistance level'. Print Edition | Subscribe