Bulls And Bears

STI rebounds on banks, property counters

Newcomer Jardine helps lift index; traders to watch Fed meet for clues on debt unwinding

Singapore shares rebounded sharply, led by banks and property counters, after Wall Street chalked up new record highs on Friday.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rallied 1.01 per cent or 32.29 points to 3,241.85, buoyed by the local banks, Singtel, City Developments and CapitaLand.

DBS Group Holdings jumped 2.1 per cent or 43 cents to $20.49; OCBC gained 1.5 per cent or 16 cents to $11.11; United Overseas Bank put on 1.3 per cent or 29 cents to $23.34. Singtel rose 1.09 per cent or four cents to $3.71.

Investors are eyeing the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting starting today, with an interest rate decision expected Wednesday afternoon local time.

Markets do not anticipate an interest rate hike at the central bank's September meeting, but will be looking for more details on plans to unwind its US$4.5 trillion (S$6.1 trillion) balance sheet of government debt.

Property counters also recovered, with CDL up nearly 2 per cent or 22 cents to $11.47; and CapitaLand climbing 1.1 per cent or four cents to $3.68.

Also lifting the index was new STI constituent Jardine Strategic Holdings, which jumped 2.2 per cent or US$1 to US$45.89 on its inclusion.

According to SGX My Gateway, Jardine Strategic makes up between 3.5 per cent and 4 per cent of the index weight. So far this year, Jardine Strategic generated a 26.7 per cent total return, compared with the STI's 14.7 per cent.

It replaced SIA Engineering, which joined the STI Reserve List with Suntec Reit, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Venture Corp and Keppel Reit.

Luxury hotel chains were also in the spotlight. Mandarin Oriental International continued its ascent, jumping 3.9 per cent or 10 US cents to US$2.66 after it said last week it has received proposals from potential buyers to acquire one of its most famous properties - The Excelsior in Hong Kong.

Mandarin Oriental, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, operates 30 hotels and eight residences in 20 countries and territories.

Shares of Shangri-La also benefitted from the positive spillover, jumping 9.1 per cent or HK$1.24 to HK$14.94.

Venture Corp jumped 2.2 per cent or 37 cents to $17.42, after Singapore's non-oil domestic exports last month surprised on the upside. Shipments jumped 17 per cent year on year, as growth accelerated from July and expanded for a fourth straight month on both electronic and non-electronic sales.

The most actively traded pennies included Blumont, which was flat at 0.1 cent, with 187.3 million shares traded.

Rowsley Corp gained 1.6 per cent or 0.2 cent to 12.7 cents on trade of 167.8 million shares; Jiutian Chemical climbed 5 per cent or 0.2 cent to 4.2 cents on volume of 53.9 million shares, while KrisEnergy jumped 7.8 per cent or 0.9 cent to 12.5 cents on trade of 35.9 million shares.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2017, with the headline 'STI rebounds on banks, property counters'. Print Edition | Subscribe