Bulls And Bears

STI picks up as shares of heavyweights rise

Biggest lift from Genting Singapore; the three local banks also drive bourse higher

Local shares found their way back on the upward track yesterday as more positive momentum from the earnings season lifted index heavyweights.

The Straits Times Index (STI) added 12.37 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 3,356.25, after facing some selling pressure in the 3,350 area - the previous high of the July-to-August period.

Another positive came in the form of September's industrial production data, which surprised on the upside and gave some assurance that the poorer electronics export data seen earlier may have been a blip after all.

In the broader market, turnover reached $1.12 billion on a volume of 1.77 million. Losers outnumbered gainers 217 to 211.

Regional markets were mixed, with the Nikkei 225 gaining 0.15 per cent and the Hang Seng falling 0.36 per cent, as traders held fire ahead of the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting at 7.45pm Singapore time.

"According to Thomson Reuters, the market expects no change in the central bank's interest rate but anticipates some clarity on the future tapering plan. The ECB currently makes monthly purchases of €60 billion (S$96.5 billion), down from the previous level of €80 billion in March," said CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang noted.

The STI enjoyed its biggest lift yesterday from Genting Singapore, which surged five cents, or 4.17 per cent, to $1.25 on a volume of 60.8 million. It was the fifth most active stock after the usual penny plays.

The rally came after Las Vegas Sands reported overnight a 13 per cent jump in adjusted property earnings for the third quarter at its Marina Bay Sands resort here from a year earlier.

CIMB maintained a "buy" on Genting Singapore with a $1.35 target price. The casino operator reports earnings on Nov 6.

Singapore's three banks also drove the STI higher after OCBC Bank reported a 12 per cent rise in third-quarter earnings, beating consensus forecasts. United Overseas Bank added 20 cents, or 0.81 per cent, to $24.80. DBS Group gained 15 cents, or 0.68 per cent, to $22.35; and OCBC Bank finished two cents, or 0.17 per cent, higher at $11.57.

DBS reiterated a "buy" call on OCBC with a $13.50 target price.

Singapore Exchange (SGX) shares reversed direction after four sessions of losses to close four cents, or 0.53 per cent, higher at $7.61.

DBS and RHB maintained "buy" calls on SGX yesterday with target prices of $8.40 and $9 respectively.

CDL Hospitality Trusts, Suntec Reit and Viva Industrial Trust will announce results today before the market opens.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2017, with the headline 'STI picks up as shares of heavyweights rise'. Print Edition | Subscribe