Bulls And Bears

S'pore market perks up as trade tensions ease

Manufacturing and tech stocks also lifted by upbeat February factory output data

Local shares broke a four-day losing streak yesterday after fears of a trade war receded.

The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 26.89 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 3,439.35, with gainers beating losers 229 to 161 on trade of 1.23 billion shares worth $1.24 billion.

Technology and manufacturing stocks also started to feel an uplift from the February industrial production numbers out on Monday.

Electronics provider Venture Corporation was among the day's top gainers, adding 58 cents to $28.43.

In the small and mid-cap space, thumb drive inventor Trek 2000 International saw 10.06 million shares change hands as it rose two cents, or 8.16 per cent, to 26.5 cents.

Valuetronics was a hot stock, with 19.55 million shares changing hands for a gain of 14.58 per cent to $1.10.

Maybank Kim Eng analyst Lai Gene Lih had initiated coverage with a "buy" on March 22, saying the Hong Kong-based electronics manufacturing services provider was "on the cusp of secular lift-off".

Contract manufacturer Hi-P International rose three cents to $2.41.

CIMB economist Michelle Chia has noted that the previous month's factory output data "exceeded our forecast due to robust demand for semiconductors despite the festive break".

But Allied Technologies lost 0.1 cent to 5.7 cents on a volume of 20.35 million shares.

The fall came after shareholders approved the precision manufacturer's expansion into e-commerce and digital payments.

Meanwhile, mainboard-listed casino operator Genting Singapore - which said on March 23 that it wants a domicile change from the Isle of Man to Singapore - slid for the third day, down one cent to $1.08 on a volume of 33.07 million shares.

Investors were also mixed on taxi giant ComfortDelGro, a day after news that its ride-hailing rivals Uber and Grab are merging their South-east Asian operations. It shed two cents to $2.02.

Transport industry watchers said taxi operators could benefit from easing competition, but they also sounded a warning note over the fate of ComfortDelGro's planned acquisition of Uber-owned Lion City Rentals.

Fintech firm Ayondo slipped by half a cent on its second day on the Catalist board. It closed at 25.5 cents on a volume of 14.88 million shares - a decline of 1.92 per cent from its initial public offering price of 26 cents.

Chinese outlet mall trust Sasseur Reit is slated to start trading today, with units offered at 80 cents apiece.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore market perks up as trade tensions ease '. Print Edition | Subscribe