Bulls And Bears

Asian markets join overnight global rallies

STI rises for second consecutive day, with banking counters leading the way

Asian markets extended their gains yesterday after taking their cue from the overnight rallies in global shares and shaking off China's lacklustre manufacturing data.

Wall Street gained 1.47 per cent overnight on Thursday as traders swooped in on battered stocks.

Asian traders took the hint: Japan was up 1.92 per cent, Korea edged ahead 0.84 per cent, Indonesia added 0.73 per cent and Malaysia gained 0.8 per cent.

Singapore was not left out of the party, with the Straits Times Index (STI) climbing 10.96 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 2,801.85. This was the market's second consecutive day of rises after five sessions of losses.

Sentiment across the region was likely lifted by China's manufacturing numbers for last month, which beat forecasts slightly, although they still marked a decline for the second consecutive month. The Chinese markets are closed for the week-long National Day holiday.

"The China readings were almost flat, not really an improvement, but a few people might have used the figures as an excuse to increase dollar-long positions with China closed today," Mr Masashi Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman, told Reuters.

"The big picture is still that the outlook for the global economy remains very subdued, mainly due to weak Chinese growth."

Global markets have been turbulent for the most of the third quarter, rocked by fears of China's shrinking economy. The lack of clues over the timing of the United States Federal Reserve interest rate hike has also done little to help.

The STI was propped up by the three banks, led by DBS Group, which rose six cents, or 0.37 per cent, to $16.27. United Overseas Bank added five cents, or 0.27 per cent, to $18.60, while OCBC rose one cent, or 0.11 per cent, to $8.80.

Property developer Hongkong Land Holdings also contributed positively, jumping 17 US cents, or 2.6 per cent, to US$6.78.

Commodity plays were a mixed bag, with Golden Agri-Resources rising half a cent, or 1.5 per cent, to 33.5 cents and Wilmar International up two cents, or 0.78 per cent, to $2.59. This was as Swiss mining giant Glencore recovered further from a heavy selldown earlier this week.

Trading firm Noble Group, on the other hand, slipped half a cent, or 1.2 per cent, to 41 cents.

Medical supplies group QT Vascular soared 4.9 cents, or 53.8 per cent, to 14 cents, after announcing on Wednesday it has successfully defended itself against a patent infringement lawsuit filed by AngioScore, another medical company.

Hong Leong Asia, the trade and industry arm of conglomerate Hong Leong Group, fell three cents, or 3.4 per cent, to 86 cents. The firm posted a profit warning for its third quarter and the nine months to Sept 30.

Total trade across the exchange was thin, with only about 1.19 billion shares worth $814.6 million changing hands.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2015, with the headline 'Asian markets join overnight global rallies'. Print Edition | Subscribe