Bulls And Bears

STI's 12-month high stumps some analysts

Local rally comes amid stronger US$, weaker Wall Street; regional showing mostly cool

Local shares rose for the second straight day to hit a 12-month high yesterday.

The rally has puzzled some analysts as it came against a stronger greenback and a weaker showing on Wall Street.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) closed 14.85 points higher or 0.47 per cent at 3,145.29, exceeding the previous 12-month high of 3,137.57.

But total market volume remained muted, with 1.86 billion shares worth $1.07 billion changing hands.

In contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average pared 0.14 per cent overnight, while the United States dollar had risen 0.23 per cent against the Singapore dollar by last night.

KGI Securities Singapore trading strategist Nicholas Teo said: "This is a bit confounding. Usually with the stronger US dollar, money will get pulled out of emerging markets.

"There have been some questions on whether the market strength is built on foam. Perhaps the hot money has remained here because of the market's reputation for being open and stable."

Outside Singapore, Hong Kong was the only major regional market that rose, gaining 0.43 per cent. Shanghai was down 0.05 per cent and Tokyo dropped 0.47 per cent.

There were 18 STI stocks that ended in the black, led by Golden Agri-Resources, which added 1.5 cents or 4.05 per cent to 38.5 cents on 51.7 million traded shares.

Hutchison Port Holdings Trust closed one US cent higher or 2.60 per cent at 39.5 US cents, on a turnover of 26.5 million shares, while Global Logistic Properties put on six cents or 2.25 per cent to $2.73, with 26.5 million shares changing hands.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) added two cents or 1.31 per cent to close at $1.545.

DBS analysts gave the counter a $1.69 target price and a buy rating, citing its move to acquire the remaining 60 per cent of CapitaGreen.

"We believe (it) helps offset potential negative rental reversions and lower occupancies... but will also allow CCT to deliver 2 per cent growth in distribution per unit this year," they noted.

DBS Group Holdings itself closed 19 cents higher or 1 per cent at $19.28, also at a full-year high.

Meanwhile, eight STI counters fell. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the biggest loser, down 5.5 cents or 4.66 per cent to $1.125.

Keppel Corp dipped 13 cents or 1.84 per cent to $6.95.

Outside the benchmark, Noble was the day's top active counter, with 88.7 million shares traded as it rose half a cent or 2.27 per cent to 22.5 cents.

On Tuesday, the embattled commodity firm announced the pricing of its proposed issue of US$750 million (S$1.06 billion), 8.75 per cent notes due in 2022. The notes were placed entirely to institutional and accredited investors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2017, with the headline 'STI's 12-month high stumps some analysts'. Print Edition | Subscribe