Bulls And Bears

STI in a lull despite strong Wall Street lead

Trump's Nov 8 win has set off roller coaster of ups and downs, with index losing 0.13% since

Singapore shares cooled off yesterday following a two-day rise amid volatile trading after the US presidential election.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) shed 21.98 points or 0.77 per cent to 2,816.67 although the Catalist segment showed a bit more vibrancy, rising 0.38 per cent. Altogether, $1.24 billion worth of shares changed hands.

The STI has gone through its share of ups and downs since Nov 8, when Mr Donald Trump shocked the world by winning the US election. The roller coaster has left the index down 0.13 per cent over the period, a far better result than in Hong Kong, which has dropped 2.4 per cent.

However, a number of regional markets have shared the bullish mood on Wall Street, which is at historic highs. Sydney has added 1.8 per cent since the election while Tokyo has gained 5.4 per cent.

The buoyant markets are betting on the chance that Mr Trump may kick-start his presidency with economic and market freebies.

"Markets reacted strongly to the perceived short-term economic benefits of increased US government spending, tighter monetary policy and loose regulation as well as tax cuts," CMC Markets sales trader Alex Furber said.

"The exact details... are still somewhat unclear, however, and a pullback may be overdue."

Meanwhile, 20 of the 30 STI components fell yesterday. StarHub led the losers, dropping 11 cents or 3.79 per cent to $2.79. CapitaLand Mall Trust eased off six cents or 3.08 per cent to $1.885, on 26.8 million traded shares.

Thai Beverage, which last Friday reported net profit of about $757 million for the nine months to Sept 30, pared 1.5 cents or 1.68 per cent to 88 cents, with 35 million shares changing hands. The nine-month result was reported as full-year earnings as the company changed its financial year-end to Sept 30.

"Comparing results based on a like-for-like nine-month period, ThaiBev would have reported 15 per cent year-on-year revenue growth. We expect the group to deliver a stable performance in the medium term," DBS Analyst Andy Sim said, giving the company a buy call with a $1.09 target price.

Eight counters rose, with Genting Singapore gaining two cents or 2.14 per cent to 95.5 cents, and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding added one cent or 1.29 per cent to 78.5 cents.

The doldrums in the bourse have led some traders to turn to smaller counters that may be supported by share buyback exercises.

DBS analyst Paul Yong noted that net cash firms trading below their book values - such as Powermatic Data, PEC and Datapulse Technology - may warrant some attention.

Powermatic Data rose 1.5 cents or 1.43 per cent to $1.065 and PEC added half a cent or 0.94 per cent to 53.5 cents. Datapulse Technology ended flat at 20.5 cents at its last close on Nov 18.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2016, with the headline 'STI in a lull despite strong Wall Street lead'. Print Edition | Subscribe