Bulls And Bears

STI inches up as rest of region ends mixed

Traders wait and see ahead of Opec meeting today on implementing production cut

Singapore shares climbed slightly higher yesterday amid a mixed showing in Asia.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) put on 4.49 points or 0.16 per cent to 2,879.14, up for the second day this week. A total of 1.88 billion shares worth $1.03 billion were traded across the bourse.

Elsewhere in the region, Tokyo dipped 0.27 per cent, Hong Kong lost 0.41 per cent while Shanghai edged up 0.18 per cent.

Traders likely took a cautionary stance as oil prices eased ahead of the Opec (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) meeting in Vienna today, where oil exporters are to implement an agreement outlined in September on cutting output.

Wall Street shed 0.28 per cent on Monday following a stellar run the week before - as part of a three- week rally on optimism that US President-elect Donald Trump will jumpstart growth in the economy.

But a DBS Chief Investment Office report said the rally seems to be easing. "The 'Trump Trade' is unlikely to go away... but it could go into 'hiatus' heading into the year's end. And that pause is imminent," it noted, adding that this could bring with it heightened volatility in equities and currencies.

"The 'Trump Trade' has made a lot of money in a very short period. The temptation would be to take the money off the table until the markets can answer more clearly how much of his policies is already reflected in the US Treasury market."

Of the 30 STI constituents, 15 finished higher while 10 fell. The remaining five were unchanged.

Transport group ComfortDelGro was among the biggest winners, jumping eight cents or 3.3 per cent to $2.50.

Among losers, shipbuilder Yangzijiang Shipbuilding fell two cents or 2.4 per cent to 83 cents, and palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources shed one cent or 2.2 per cent to 43.5 cents in heavy trade.

KGI Securities (Singapore) trading strategist Nicholas Teo noted Golden Agri-Resources has been on a tear since early November - the stock is up 14.5 per cent so far this month - and may "need to pause to consolidate this huge (gain)" before making a further move.

Developer Perennial Real Estate Holdings rose 1.5 cents or 1.8 per cent to 83.5 cents, after announcing in the morning that it has signed a call option agreement for the right to buy a 20 per cent stake in Aroland Holdings, which owns Aviva Tower in London.

Property and construction firm United Engineers sank 16 cents or 5.8 per cent to $2.59. It received a trading query from the Singapore Exchange in the morning, to which it later responded to say it was not aware of any possible explanation behind the slump in share price.

Commodity trader Noble Group was again the day's top active, dipping 0.1 cent or 0.6 per cent to 17.2 cents on 217 million shares done.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2016, with the headline 'STI inches up as rest of region ends mixed'. Print Edition | Subscribe