Bulls And Bears

STI up on rally in blue-chip property stocks

Counters like CapitaLand and UOL Group gain amid uncertainty over US rate hikes

Singapore shares finished higher, buoyed by a positive lead from elsewhere in Asia and from Wall Street, sparking a rally in blue-chip property stocks here. The key Straits Times Index closed 0.49 per cent or 15.74 points higher at 3,247.18.

Property counters, including City Developments, Hongkong Land, CapitaLand and UOL Group, gained as weaker-than-expected United States economic data fuelled uncertainty over whether the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this year.

CDL jumped 2.5 per cent or 27 cents to $10.88; Hongkong Land rose 0.9 per cent or seven US cents to US$7.58; CapitaLand edged up 0.6 per cent or two cents to $3.59; and UOL gained nearly 2 per cent or 15 cents to $7.76.

US home-building fell for a third month in May to the lowest in eight months as construction activity declined, while the University of Michigan on Friday said its barometer of consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly early this month.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong gained 1.2 per cent; Shanghai was up 0.7 per cent and Shenzhen rose 0.6 per cent. Chinese shares got a lift from still-resilient housing prices and China's central bank's continued liquidity injections.

Investors are eyeing the start of formal Brexit negotiations and a decision on whether MSCI will include China's domestically traded A-shares in its globally tracked emerging markets index. Acceptance by MSCI would have big repercussions for global investors as it would oblige investment funds to pump billions into Chinese stocks.

Chinese developer Yanlord Group fell 1.4 per cent or 2.5 cents to $1.81 even as it joined the STI Reserve List yesterday. The list will be made up of Suntec Reit, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Sembcorp Marine, Keppel Reit and Yanlord.

Tech manufacturing stocks continued to rally even though Singapore's non-oil domestic exports last month shrank for a second straight month from a year earlier. But the decline was smaller than expected due to strong electronics demand, according to IE Singapore data.

Among the most actively traded was Jadason Enterprises, which jumped 12.7 per cent or one cent to 8.9 cents, with 49.7 million shares changing hands. Venture Corp gained 0.7 per cent or nine cents to $12.35; UMS Holdings rose 0.9 per cent or one cent to $1.11; and AEM Holdings climbed 2.1 per cent or five cents to $2.43.

A four-month credit extension for cash-strapped Noble Group sent the counter surging 46.2 per cent or 15 cents to 47.5 cents, on trade of 64.2 million shares. The commodity trader on Friday persuaded banks to extend a US$2 billion (S$2.77 billion) credit line, due to be rolled over end of this week, but it was asked to find a strategic investor, said reports.

Other actively traded pennies included Disa, which fell 4.2 per cent or 0.1 cent to 2.3 cents, with 104.3 million shares traded. Sincap, a coal trading and gypsum mining company, surged 23.1 per cent or 0.3 cent to 1.6 cents, on trade of 44.9 million shares. Addvalue Tech was flat at 5.6 cents, with 27.8 million shares changing hands.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2017, with the headline 'STI up on rally in blue-chip property stocks'. Print Edition | Subscribe