Bulls And Bears

S'pore shares mostly up as market reopens

After Thursday's outage, local investors ride on strong Wall Street showing to boost STI

Singapore shares resumed trading on a solid footing yesterday after Thursday's lengthy outage, as Asian markets capped off a stellar week with more gains.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 18.43 points or 0.63 per cent to 2,925.35 - up 78.31 points or 2.75 per cent for the week.

Investors likely took their cues from Wall Street, where stocks extended all-time highs on hopes of looser global monetary policy, helped also by positive corporate earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.73 per cent overnight and the S&P 500 climbed 0.53 per cent to mark its longest winning streak in four months.

Closer to home, Tokyo rose 0.68 per cent and Taiwan gained 0.94 per cent to enter a bull market. Hong Kong added 0.46 per cent after data showing China's second-quarter economic growth had topped market estimates, though Shanghai was flat, adding just 0.01 per cent.

"We're seeing better-than-expected growth, particularly in the United States economy, and we've got a higher likelihood of central bank stimulus," Mr Michael McCarthy, Sydney-based chief market strategist at CMC Markets, told Bloomberg Radio.

"These ideas are opposing, but at the moment they are both supporting equities. At some point, there is going to have to be a resolution."

European markets, however, opened weaker in the wake of a terror attack in Nice, France.

Activity across the local bourse was more robust than usual, with 2.22 billion shares worth $1.4 billion changing hands.

Of the 30 STI constituents, 24 clocked gains and six saw losses.

Bourse operator Singapore Exchange was one of the biggest losers, sliding five cents or 0.6 per cent to $7.74. Analysts expect to see further pressure on the company's stock, which is up just 0.52 per cent this year, should it be penalised for the latest system breakdown - its fourth in two years. It is due to announce its fourth-quarter and full- year results in a few weeks.

On the other side of the ledger, Genting Singapore jumped two cents or 2.5 per cent to 80.5 cents, and ComfortDelGro rose six cents or 2 per cent to $3.01.

SMRT added half a cent or 0.3 per cent to $1.545, after the Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday said it will take over ownership of the country's metro rail system from the group, including assets such as trains.

The LTA added that it remained in talks with SBS Transit on the possibility of transferring its rail assets to the Government, which sent shares of the rail and taxi operator up sharply, by 22 cents or 8.9 per cent, to $2.70.

Commodity trader Noble Group's nil-paid rights were the day's top active, surging 0.8 cent or 16.3 per cent to 5.7 cents, on 341.8 million units done. Noble was hotly traded, jumping 0.4 cent or 2.4 per cent to 17 cents on volume of 211.3 units.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore shares mostly up as market reopens'. Print Edition | Subscribe