Bulls And Bears

Slow start to busy week for local bourse

STI gets slight boost from export figures and growth forecast amid fragile global markets

Local shares defied fragile global markets to head north yesterday, thanks to a boost from export figures out last Friday.

There was also good news on Sunday when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the People's Action Party convention that the economy could grow by more than 3 per cent this year. The positive mood sent the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) up 4.21 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 3,386.59.

It was a hopeful - if slow - start to a busy week, with growth, inflation and factory numbers for Singapore due in the days ahead. But the relief was uneven, with losers outnumbering gainers 150 to 279.

Singapore Airlines, which released operating results for October last week, added 14 cents, or 1.33 per cent, to $10.68. OCBC Investment Research noted that it has seen "solid" improvement in its passenger load factor, but cautioned that yields remain under pressure, with competition from Gulf and Chinese airlines set to heat up.

Airport ground-handling service provider Sats put on three cents, or 0.59 per cent, to $5.14.

Other gainers included Jardine Cycle & Carriage - up by 17 cents, or 0.43 per cent, to $39.42 after increasing its stake in Vietnam's Vinamilk. CapitaLand Commercial Trust added six cents, or 3.24 per cent, to $1.91.

Still, a slew of recent deals elsewhere failed to create a sizzle.

Oxley Holdings - fresh from picking up the Mayfair Gardens residential site at a 21 per cent premium over the asking price - shed one cent, or 1.49 per cent, to 66 cents.

DBS analysts noted yesterday: "We are already numb on news flow of developers' continued hunger for land, which does not seem to abate even with the Government's recent effort to manage the enthusiasm seen in recent collective sale tenders." But they added: "The new project might attract a high level of interest if Oxley is able to launch the new project at a price that is relevant to market conditions at that time."

Real estate firm Roxy-Pacific Holdings, which has taken a stake in a joint venture to buy a Melbourne office building, lost one cent, or 1.85 per cent, to 53 cents.

Spackman Entertainment Group, which has been churning out updates on its investments in the South Korean film industry, fell 0.3 cents, or 2.66 per cent, to 11 cents.

Electronic waste management company Enviro-Hub Holdings dipped 0.1 cent, or 2.04 per cent, to 4.8 cents. It reached an agreement last week to sell office and retail building PoMo in Selegie Road for $342 million.

Private education provider Raffles Education Corporation - caught in a tussle between tycoon Oei Hong Leong and founding chief executive Chew Hua Seng - fell again, losing one cent, or 3.45 per cent, to 28 cents.

There was uncertainty around the globe as well. In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to form a coalition, sending the euro sliding. Traders flocking to the yen have put a crimp on Japanese exporters' prospects, with the Nikkei dipping 0.6 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2017, with the headline 'Slow start to busy week for local bourse'. Print Edition | Subscribe