Bulls And Bears

Local shares end higher amid tight race in US polls

• Mapletree Industrial Trust and Singtel among top gainers • Advancers and decliners almost evenly matched at 208 to 205 • Investors hardly in full retreat, as STI surges 0.75% to 2,515.98

Hopes of a decisive outcome to the US election melted away during the Asian trading session, raising concerns that a much needed stimulus programme will not be quickly passed on Capitol Hill.

Mr Stephane Monier, chief investment officer at Swiss private bank Lombard Odier, said just before the end of trading in Singapore yesterday: "It's far too close to call, but right now, it is clear that the Democrat landslide suggested by polling is just not materialising.

"For now, whoever wins the White House, it very much looks like we will face a divided Congress. This has far-reaching implications for markets, mostly because it means that any kind of pandemic recovery package is still tough to approve."

Investors in Singapore were hardly in full retreat though.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) ended yesterday 18.76 points, or 0.75 per cent, higher.

Leading the index with gains of more than 2 per cent each were Mapletree Industrial Trust, Singtel and Mapletree Logistics Trust.

At the other end of the spectrum, the biggest index laggards yesterday were Sembcorp Industries and CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, which declined by more than 1 per cent each.

Also among the index losers were heavyweight property developers City Developments and CapitaLand, which declined 0.93 per cent and 0.39 per cent, respectively.

Across the broader market, advancers and decliners were almost evenly matched at 208 to 205. The most actively traded counter was Jiutian Chemical, which had nearly 406.7 million shares changing hands. The stock rose 5.16 per cent, and closed at 10.2 cents.

Regionally, Hong Kong fell 0.2 per cent, as Alibaba tumbled after China suspended the planned listing of its financial unit Ant Group.

But South Korea rose 0.6 per cent, while Japan finished 1.72 per cent up.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2020, with the headline 'Local shares end higher amid tight race in US polls'. Print Edition | Subscribe