Bulls And Bears

S'pore shares edge up to end ahead for week

STI regains most of Wednesday's losses; Keppel, Sembcorp among gainers

Local stocks recovered a tad yesterday with traders sorting out positions ahead of the Easter weekend.

The benchmark Straits Times Index managed to regain most of Wednesday's losses to end up 45.19 points, or 1.34 per cent, to 3,427.97 and ahead 0.19 per cent for the week. Singapore Exchange rose three cents to $7.37 on news that it is nearing the finishing line in its plan to allow dual-class share listings.

Keppel Corp added 11 cents to $7.77. Chairman Lee Boon Yang said in the annual report that it had ring-fenced the hefty fines from its Brazilian corruption scandal when considering the full-year dividend of 22 cents a share for 2017.

Sembcorp Industries gained eight cents to $3.11. Its senior management will take pay cuts of 10 per cent to 15 per cent in "these challenging times", after full-year net profit fell 41.6 per cent year on year.

Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust closed flat at $1.15 but with trade of 15.15 million units compared with 6.98 million on Wednesday. CGS-CIMB has upgraded the Reit to "add" on its planned expansion into Japan.

Loss-making offshore engineering services firm IEV Holdings sank 1.2 cents, or 36.36 per cent, to 2.1 Singapore cents. Independent auditors Deloitte & Touche have flagged "material uncertainty" over the business based on its latest full-year financial statement.

Video solutions provider Artivision Technologies - another loss-maker - made a surprise appearance in the actives list, with trade jumping to 11.76 million shares from 2.5 million on Wednesday. Its three-month average is 6.23 million shares. The counter shed 0.1 cent, or 6.25 per cent, to 1.5 cents. Catalist-listed financial technology firm Ayondo - which started trading on Monday - sank by 2.5 cents, or 10.64 per cent, to 21 cents.

DBS economists Taimur Baig and Radhika Rao had mixed feelings as the first quarter draws to its close. "Markets are restless on cue from adverse geopolitical developments, but so far, the silver lining has been that earnings are well supported by a buoyant global economy," they wrote. "We are, however, beginning to worry that the latter phenomenon may have peaked.

Chief equity strategist Bob Doll at Nuveen Asset Management told Bloomberg: "We've done some damage with the correction and it's going to take some time to repair... Expect choppy, sideways volatility."

Tokyo's Nikkei rose by 0.61 per cent on a softer yen. The Hang Seng added 0.24 per cent and Shanghai gained 1.22 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore shares edge up to end ahead for week'. Print Edition | Subscribe