Bulls And Bears

STI extends rally to 4th day on trade talk hopes

Tech, electronics, industrial and consumer stocks having strong rally

Singapore stocks extended gains to a fourth straight session yesterday as US-China trade talks concluded after three days.

Markets also gained across Asia, reflecting investors' hopes for positive results from the talks.

The Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 35.13 points , or 1.12 per cent, to 3,158.07.

Advancers outpaced decliners 250 to 144 as 1.6 billion shares worth $1.12 billion changed hands.

Said FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga: "A sense of optimism over trade talks between the United States and China ending on a positive note is clearly supporting global risk sentiment, and this continues to be reflected in global equities."

US President Donald Trump's address on the border wall and government shutdown also kept largely to script, and appeared to be shrugged off by Asian investors choosing to remain focused on ongoing trade developments, he added.

CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang thinks the index is "attempting to reach higher highs". She expects the next resistance level to be around 3,200.

Cyclical sectors, such as technology, electronics, industrial and consumer, are having a strong rally, she added.

The index's top gainers yesterday included Venture Corp, which went up 4.56 per cent to $14.92.

Jardine Matheson Holdings gained 1.9 per cent to US$69.17, while Jardine Cycle & Carriage rose 2.6 per cent after lunchtime before closing 0.5 per cent higher at $36.27.

Among consumer stocks, Sheng Siong put on 0.91 per cent to $1.11, while Delfi gained 0.73 per cent to $1.38.

RHB Research Institute analyst Juliana Cai believes the sector will outperform the STI, given its "more defensive nature".

In a Jan 4 report, she cited Sheng Siong and "under-researched" Delfi and Genting Singapore as top picks for this year.

The offshore and marine and banking sectors may also see better sentiment as oil prices regain strength, said Ms Yang.

Keppel Corp rose 0.32 per cent to $6.18, while Sembcorp Marine closed unchanged at $1.62.

KrisEnergy's shares advanced 2.5 per cent to 8.2 cents.

But the banking sector may be one to watch, after news emerged of trouble at Coastal Oil Singapore, a crude oil products supplier that has filed for liquidation, hitting at least 10 banks.

These include all three Singapore banks, which are owed about half of the total debt of US$354 million (S$480 million).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2019, with the headline 'STI extends rally to 4th day on trade talk hopes'. Print Edition | Subscribe