Mixed days for regional markets, STI ends 2 points up

The STI closed up 1.83 points or 0.07 per cent to 2,817.07 on Oct 17, 2016.
The STI closed up 1.83 points or 0.07 per cent to 2,817.07 on Oct 17, 2016. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - Singapore market managed to eke out a small gain amid a mixed day for the region, as investors kept their eyes on a slew of economic data announcements.

The Straits Times Index closed up 1.83 points or 0.07 per cent to 2,817.07. Trading was mostly outside the benchmark, as the total market volume of 2.4 billion shares yesterday was only worth S$896.7 million.

Asian bourses had a mixed day, with Shanghai down 0.74 per cent and Hong Kong down 0.84 per cent. Tokyo added 0.26 per cent, while Bangkok pared a marginal 0.02 per cent.

Regional investors are holding their breath on the United States' industrial production figure out yesterday and the third quarter economic growth figure of China tomorrow (Oct 19), to gauge the health of the struggling global economy.

For now, China's outlook remains intact, Moody's said in a note last week.

"Overcapacity in heavy industry continues to weigh on the economy, but there are signs of improvement in some key areas. Manufacturing output is rising thanks to the global tech rebound… Economic growth should comfortably meet the government's 6.5 to 7 per cent target for the year."

Also on schedule this week is the European Central Bank meeting, where policy stance is expected to stay unchanged even as market rumours of tapering persist.

Ahead of these events, 12 of the 30 STI constituents ended higher on Monday.

Genting Singapore was up one cent or 1.32 per cent to 76.5 cents, unaffected by the news in China that 18 employees of casino operator Crown Resorts were arrested.

Aside from macroeconomic data, local corporate results - which are starting to come through this week - will also dominate market attention.

"Earnings season uncertainty and the latest weak third quarter GDP for Singapore showing a contraction puts a near-term cap (on STI) at 2,850," DBS analyst Yeo Kee Yan said.