Bulls And Bears

Positive global signs fail to boost STI

Local bourse falls for 2nd straight day despite oil price gain and rises in key overseas indices

Upbeat indicators from across the globe drove some key indices higher - but the Singapore bourse missed out on the party.

Instead, the Straits Times Index shed 8.67 points, or 0.26 per cent, to close at 3,280.28 points in a second day of losses.

Fresh highs on United States equity indices and an upturn in crude oil prices failed to do the trick here across the broader market.

To be sure, oil and gas stocks got a lift on Brent's rise, with KrisEnergy closing up by 0.3 cent, or 2.6 per cent, at 11.8 cents.

GSS Energy was higher by half a cent, or 3.1 per cent, at 16.6 cents and Sembcorp Marine added one cent, or 0.5 per cent, to end at $1.84.

British lender Barclays has raised its Brent forecast for the first quarter of next year to US$56, up by US$5.

The bank said in a note: "For now, inventory draws will continue to leave room for a geopolitical risk premium to re-emerge."

Investors have also stayed upbeat over City Developments, which has offered to consolidate its Millennium & Copthorne Hotels stake. The real estate group put on seven cents, or 0.6 per cent, to finish at $11.92.

But all three local banks were down for the day, weighing down the index's performance.

DBS Group Holdings shed 15 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $21.35, with United Overseas Bank also losing 15 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $24.07. OCBC was lower by two cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $11.34.

Singapore Airlines shares fell again, shedding one cent, or 0.1 per cent, to close at $10.18. Last week, news came of cost-cutting measures at the carrier.

On the commodities scene, Wilmar International was down by three cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $3.34, and Golden Agri-Resources dipped by half a cent, or 1.3 per cent, to 38 cents.

The decline came on the back of a DBS Equity Research report noting the stagnation in crude palm oil (CPO) output growth.

But the muted output could give a lift to fourth-quarter prices, said DBS analyst William Simadiputra.

He wrote: "We still believe consensus has an overly bearish view of the CPO plantation industry."

IG Asia market strategist Pan Jingyi has warned that the Singapore market could face headwinds if the greenback strengthens on news from the US Federal Reserve.

But tomorrow's domestic economic growth numbers are "still expected to outweigh" such a millstone, she said.

Other markets in the region fared better yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average's record high was matched by a 1 per cent gain on Seoul's Kospi, which also finished with a record after mainstays like Samsung Electronics posted robust quarterly earnings.

Tokyo also rose by 0.28 per cent to reach its highest level since 1996, despite the continuing share price dive of Kobe Steel.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2017, with the headline 'Positive global signs fail to boost STI'. Print Edition | Subscribe