SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Local shares could only manage modest gains on Tuesday (Feb 9), despite a buoyant Wall Street surging to fresh records overnight propelled by continued positive sentiment on additional stimulus measures.
The Straits Times Index even dipped into negative territory in the afternoon session before recovering to close at 2,935.27, up just 3.87 points or 0.13 per cent. Around 2.38 billion shares worth $1.30 billion changed hands on the day with gainers outpacing losers 255 to 190.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan ended the day in positive territory with Japan's benchmark Nikkei index climbing to a 30-year high. South Korea and Indonesia closed lower.
Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said: "With most of Asia shutting down for Lunar New Year, starting with Taiwan and Vietnam tomorrow, liquidity will steadily erode in Asia, where trading appears muted already. That will leave those markets that are still open vulnerable to headline-driven, temporary volatility spikes."
Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the best performer among the 30 STI constituent stocks, climbing 6.7 per cent to $1.04. The shipbuilder said on Monday that it bagged agreements to build and deliver 29 vessels with a total contract value of US$1.3 billion.
Thai Beverage was at the bottom of the table after reversing gains, following confirmed plans to list its brewery unit. Its shares fell 1.8 per cent to 82.5 cents. It was the most heavily traded stock on the blue-chip index, with about 89.9 million shares changing hands.
DBS Bank and UOB found themselves in the red among the banks. DBS lost 0.8 per cent to $25.93 while UOB shed 0.04 per cent to $23.84. OCBC Bank edged up 0.1 per cent to $10.45.
Other heavily traded securities outside the STI included Thomson Medical, which was up 20.4 per cent to 5.9 cents, with 115.9 million shares traded.
The mainboard-listed group posted a net profit of $8.1 million on Monday for its first half ended Dec 31, a marked reversal from its loss of $1.9 million recorded in the same period a year earlier.