Bulls And Bears

STI closes higher on quiet trading

Gain mirrors positive sentiment in region over prospect of more stimulus from China

Local shares ended higher at the end of a quiet session yesterday, with punters mostly trading in penny stocks as they wound up for the holidays.

The Straits Times Index climbed 7.42 points, or 0.26 per cent, to close at 2,852.97.

The rise mirrored the largely positive mood across the region, as investors were buoyed by the prospect of more stimulus measures from China.

"We've had easing on multiple fronts in China and we are starting to see the green shoots of recovery there," said Mr Nader Naeimi, the Sydney-based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors, in an interview with Bloomberg.

"We should see China's economy turn the corner in 2016 and the US dollar peaking."

Shanghai rose 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong gained 0.2 per cent and Seoul added 0.6 per cent but Tokyo slipped 0.2 per cent, dragged down by a continued slump in share prices of Toshiba.

The household electronics firm has forecast a record 550 billion yen (S$6.4 billion) loss and announced plans to cut more jobs as it restructures its businesses.

Its shares have lost about US$2 billion (S$2.8 billion) of their market value over the past two days.

At home, Global Tech (Holdings) continued to be among the most active, rising 0.8 cent to four cents, after announcing last Friday that controlling shareholder Optimum Pace International has agreed to sell 2.74 billion shares to Road Shine Developments for HK$318 million (S$57.7 million).

Ezra Holdings gained 0.2 cent to 10.1 cents. The firm, which provides offshore solutions to the oil and gas industry, announced on Monday that its subsea services division, Emas AMC, had won subsea contracts worth nearly US$70 million, including work with a new client in the Middle East.

Tiger Airways ended flat at 41 cents after Singapore Airlines said on Monday that it is not raising its buyout offer for the budget carrier.

The statement came in response to an open letter from the Securities Investors Association Singapore on behalf of Tigerair's long-term minority investors, urging SIA to do better on its offer price of 41 cents, given that the airline had paid more for Tigerair shares in the past.

Fortune Real Estate Investment Trust fell two Hong Kong cents to HK$7.63.

Its listing status on the Singapore Exchange has been changed to a secondary listing from a primary one as of Monday, it announced. The Reit has a dual primary listing in Hong Kong.

Innopac was unchanged at 0.3 cent, after announcing on Monday that it intends to transfer its listing from the mainboard to the Catalist board, which it said would be a more flexible platform for future fund-raising.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'STI closes higher on quiet trading'. Print Edition | Subscribe