Bulls And Bears

STI rebounds but investors still skittish

Analysts expect volatility as markets try to second-guess policies of US President-elect

Singapore shares rebounded yesterday after two straight sessions of decline as worries over the possible impact of a Trump presidency eased somewhat.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) inched up 10.28 points or 0.37 per cent to 2,797.55. Turnover across the bourse was 1.71 billion shares worth $1.21 billion.

Markets elsewhere in Asia were mixed. Tokyo was flat, dipping 0.03 per cent. Shanghai shed 0.1 per cent while Hong Kong rose 0.46 per cent and Sydney lost 0.37 per cent.

Wall Street edged up just 0.11 per cent on Monday after last week's stellar showing.

Mr Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election last week had sparked heavy selling across emerging markets, amid fears that his policies would mean massive capital outflows from the region.

"Risks are elevated, and we are expecting further increases in volatility as markets attempt to second- guess the policies that might eventually come out from the US," Mr Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, told Bloomberg.

"One of the challenges for markets is that all of these moves are not straightforward in terms of impact. In a lot of cases, we just have to see how things play out."

Of the 30 STI constituents, 16 finished stronger, while 11 fell and three were unchanged.

Airport ground-handling firm Sats was among the day's biggest winners, jumping 22 cents or 4.6 per cent to $4.96.

The local banks also helped to prop up the index. DBS Group Holdings rose 23 cents or 1.4 per cent to $16.34, OCBC Bank put on 11 cents or 1.3 per cent to $8.72, and United Overseas Bank was up 20 cents or 1.1 per cent to $19.05.

On the other side of the ledger, Global Logistic Properties fell three cents or 1.5 per cent to $2.03 while Singtel pared two cents or 0.5 per cent to $3.66.

Golden Agri-Resources lost half a cent or 1.3 per cent to 38.5 cents. The group on Monday posted a net profit of US$219.7 million (S$310 million) for the third quarter ended Sept 30, marking a turnaround from the net loss of US$16.4 million previously. But CIMB in a report maintained its "reduce" call on the stock, citing "unexciting near-term earnings prospects".

The most active counter was investment holding firm Elektromotive Group, which plummeted 0.1 cent or 25 per cent to 0.3 cent on 243.8 million shares done.

Offshore marine counters were also in play. Shipbuilder Vard Holdings, which on Sunday said its Italian parent Fincantieri is offering to buy out minority investors at 24 cents a share, slid half a cent or 2 per cent to 24 cents.

ASL Marine Holdings lost four cents or 3.1 per cent to 12.4 cents, despite news that it has lined up a new $99.9 million five-year club term loan facility to tide it over the prolonged industry downturn.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2016, with the headline 'STI rebounds but investors still skittish'. Print Edition | Subscribe