Bulls And Bears

Three local banks lift S'pore shares

The Straits Times Index (STI) was lifted by all three local banks which had fallen in the past two sessions, but came back in style yesterday.
The Straits Times Index (STI) was lifted by all three local banks which had fallen in the past two sessions, but came back in style yesterday.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

This reverses losses in past two days; in broader market, trading volume slides

A quiet session for regional bourses ended with the Straits Times Index (STI) gaining 0.78 per cent to close at 3,261.84 yesterday, reversing the losses of the past two days.

With holidays in Hong Kong, China and South Korea, investors were focused more on local action.

The STI was lifted by all three local banks which had fallen in the past two sessions, but came back in style yesterday. United Overseas Bank jumped 30 cents or 1.65 per cent to $24.01, DBS Group rose 25 cents or 1.19 per cent to $21.33, while OCBC Bank climbed nine cents or 0.81 per cent to $11.25.

Singtel, however, was a drag on the index, falling one cent or 0.27 per cent to $3.68 with 21.3 million shares changing hands.

In the broader market, volume was even thinner than on Wednesday. Turnover on the Singapore bourse was $957.3 million on volume of 1.16 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers 258 to 158.

IG market strategist Jingyi Pan said: "Asian markets as a whole have seen significant outflow in the month of September as the US dollar reversed course. While the regulatory changes in China have helped to counter some of these stresses for the Hong Kong bourse, Asian markets may continue to find this trend a plausible risk into the year end.

"Both economic fundamentals and third-quarter earnings for the region would have to step up for prices to match much of the upside potential that investors still see."

SIA Engineering rose one cent or 0.31 per cent to $3.22 on volume of 4.3 million. The stock was beaten down on Wednesday on news that JP Morgan had offloaded a block of 38.9 million shares at $3.11 apiece.

The airplane maintenance and repair company said in a filing yesterday that it conducted its largest share buyback exercise in a year on Wednesday, scooping up 419,300 shares for $1.36 million.

Addvalue Technologies fell 0.1 cent or 2.27 per cent to 4.3 cents, with 34 million shares changing hands, after it said it had signed an agreement with a partner to offer its maritime product and data solutions bundle for deep-sea fishing vessels.

The announcement came after Addvalue was queried by the Singapore Exchange for an unusual surge in trading activity on Tuesday.

Alliance Mineral Assets (AMA) fell half a cent or 1.67 per cent to 29.5 cents on volume of 19.1 million after a trading halt was lifted. The miner said it was altering the terms of the lithium concentrate off-take agreement from its Bald Hill Project with Hong Kong-listed Burwill Holdings.

AMA's independent auditor EY has raised the issue of the firm's ability to continue as a going concern. EY noted that AMA's cash flow forecasts reflect a need to raise extra funds before Dec 31 so it could meet its committed and planned capital expenditure in the Bald Hill project.

Magnus Energy was the top active counter, followed by Rowsley and QT Vascular.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2017, with the headline 'Three local banks lift S'pore shares'. Print Edition | Subscribe