Bulls And Bears

Asian markets mixed on IMF growth outlook

STI racks up five-day losing streak; Noble and ComfortDelGro among big losers

Regional markets were mixed yesterday as worries over global growth kept investors cautious.

The concern stemmed from the International Monetary Fund's move to cut its global economic growth forecast for the first time in over two years, to 3.7 per cent from 3.9 per cent for this year and next.

The reactions varied, with the Nikkei in Japan ending up 0.16 per cent after four days of losses, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng broke a six-session losing streak to rise 0.08 per cent and Australia's ASX 200 advanced 0.14 per cent. Shanghai shares added 0.18 per cent while Shenzhen stocks retreated 0.15 per cent.

Singapore and Seoul missed out on the gains, with the Kospi hitting a 17-month low in its longest losing streak since September last year. It ended down 1.12 per cent in its seventh straight session in the red.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) racked up a five-day losing streak, falling 35.12 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 3,131.48. Losers beat gainers 302 to 119 on trade of 1.6 billion shares worth $1.1 billion.

IG market strategist Pan Jingyi noted that uncertainty over upcoming American consumer price index data and the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) policy meeting have contributed to the risk-averse atmosphere.

Analysts continue to differ on whether the MAS will tighten monetary policy or maintain a neutral stance tomorrow.

Transport operator ComfortDelGro led index stocks in losses, shedding 12 cents, or 5.1 per cent, to $2.25. About 18.4 million shares changed hands following a Straits Times report that Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek is preparing to launch here next month.

In April, the start-up was said to be in talks to tie up with ComfortDelGro for its Singapore business, but the latest report said Go-Jek appears to be going it alone.

Noble Group fell 4.7 per cent to 12.3 cents with 8.6 million shares traded. The troubled commodity firm announced yesterday that potential "other scheme creditor" Yancoal Australia and some of its affiliates intend to file objections to aspects of Noble's restructuring plan.

Noble also announced after the market closed that it had divested its interest in an Indonesian subsidiary for a nominal US$1 (S$1.40).

Addvalue Technologies was a bright spot amid the gloom, adding 3.6 per cent to 2.9 cents with 27.8 million shares changing hands.

The company announced on Tuesday evening that it had snagged a contract to provide its inter-satellite data relay system to a low-earth-orbit satellite operator.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2018, with the headline 'Asian markets mixed on IMF growth outlook'. Print Edition | Subscribe