Bulls And Bears

STI ends week higher, in line with Wall Street

Traders pin hopes on US stimulus, even amid ebb and flow of pre-election current

Local shares ended the week on a high, in tandem with Wall Street stocks that rose on hopes of a stimulus package.

Market watchers noted that the final US presidential debate on Thursday was less chaotic than the first, but offered little in terms of new information on which way the vote counts were turning.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) ended yesterday up 0.4 per cent or 8.98 points at 2,537.39. Decliners outnumbered advancers 213 to 177, with some 1.25 billion securities worth $928.7 million having changed hands.

The positive investor sentiment was evident on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indices each gained 0.5 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite inched up 0.2 per cent.

AxiCorp's chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said: "Markets are trading higher, but cautiously in line with the current stimulus, 'before-election' theme as stocks ebb and flow on the unwind and rotations swivel."

He said Mr Joe Biden's comments on a US$2 trillion (S$2.7 trillion) "clean-energy plan" should support the narrative that "the greatest amount of fiscal stimulus would materialise under a Democratic presidency and sweep of Congress".

Three out of four of the companies under the Jardine Group were the top gainers on the Singapore bourse. Jardine Matheson Holdings (JMH) and Jardine Strategic Holdings (JSH) again finished in the top two spots. JMH gained 2.3 per cent to US$44.00 while JSH added 3.4 per cent to close at US$21.68.

Meanwhile, Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 1.6 per cent to close at $18.91. Hongkong Land, however, lost 1.1 per cent to close at US$3.77.

Local offshore and marine group BH Global was the biggest decliner of the day, closing 34.1 per cent lower at $0.30.

Mapletree Logistics Trust was the biggest loser among constituent stocks yesterday, despite positive news about its private placement to finance its Asian acquisition spree worth $1.09 billion. The placement was about 5.5 times covered, with the issue price fixed at $2.027 per new unit. The counter closed 3.3 per cent lower at $2.05 on a cum-dividend basis.

A few other real estate investment trusts (Reits) ended the week in the red. Ascendas Reit lost 0.7 per cent to $3.08; CapitaLand Mall Trust shed 0.5 per cent to $1.88, and Mapletree Commercial Trust fell 0.5 per cent to $1.90.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets mostly ended higher. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 per cent; the Hang Seng index put on 0.5 per cent, and the broader Topix added 0.3 per cent. However, the KLCI fell 0.3 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2020, with the headline 'STI ends week higher, in line with Wall Street'. Print Edition | Subscribe