Bulls And Bears

Shares up as fears over US election ease

STI inches up 12.15 points after FBI says it will not prosecute Clinton over e-mail server

Singapore shares finished slightly stronger yesterday as concerns over the outcome of the United States presidential election eased.

The better mood came after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton will not be prosecuted over her use of a private e-mail server - an issue that raised the possibility of rival Donald Trump winning, which fuelled uncertainty across global markets in the past week.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) inched up 12.15 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 2,800.95. Turnover across the bourse amounted to 1.45 billion shares worth $1.15 billion.

Other markets in the region got a boost as well: Tokyo rose 1.61 per cent, Hong Kong added 0.7 per cent, while Shanghai climbed 0.26 per cent.

Still, DBS analyst Yeo Kee Yan said in a report that the race between Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump will "remain tight" and investors are likely to sit on the sidelines until the election results are known on Wednesday, Singapore time.

"A Hillary win should see a 'relief recovery' for stocks," he said. "If Trump wins, equity markets will likely sell off as risk aversion increases. This, together with a likely continuation of the 'earnings recession' and prospect of a December rate hike, should send the STI lower."

At home, DBS Group Holdings helped to lift the index, advancing 20 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $15.13.

Keppel Corporation also put up a good showing, gaining nine cents, or 1.7 per cent, to $5.34, in line with a rise in crude prices following last week's sharp falls. Sembcorp Marine jumped 4.5 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to $1.335, while parent company Sembcorp Industries put on eight cents, or 3.2 per cent, to $2.59.

Singapore Post sank 11.5 cents, or 7 per cent, to $1.535. The group last Friday posted a 41.2 per cent drop in third-quarter net profit and cut its dividend to one cent per share.

OCBC Investment Research put out a "hold" call on the stock, citing a "longer-term gain". "As SingPost builds up its e-commerce logistics capabilities, investments will be required, driving up expenses in the near term," it said, increasing fair value on the stock from $1.42 to $1.47.

Venture Corporation added four cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $9.54, after posting a 16.9 per cent rise in its third-quarter earnings to $47.4 million last Friday, beating market expectations. RHB Securities noted that the outlook continues to be bright for Venture Corp despite a challenging macroeconomic environment, maintaining a "buy" call on the stock.

Commodity trader Noble Group was the day's top active, jumping 0.7 cent, or 4.1 per cent, to 17.6 cents on 125.2 million shares done.

Genting Singapore was also hotly traded, jumping 4.5 cents, or 5.3 per cent, to 89.5 cents. The group last week reported a third-quarter net profit of $106.9 million, more than double the $37.2 million from the same period a year ago.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Shares up as fears over US election ease'. Subscribe