Bulls And Bears

STI rebounds on further thaw in Sino-US ties

It erases Monday's losses to rise 0.6%, mirroring gains in most Asian bourses

Singapore stocks erased Monday's losses yesterday as further signs of thawing tensions between the United States and China bolstered optimism.

The Straits Times Index (STI) advanced throughout the day before finishing at 3,270.54, up 0.6 per cent or 19.47 points.

Most indices across Asia also gained, except for those in China and Hong Kong.

"Asia markets are expected to sing to the cheer on Wall Street with the alleviation of US-China trade tensions carrying this week," IG said in a note.

Market sentiment had improved ahead of the signing of the US and China's preliminary trade deal - set to take place in Washington today - after the US lifted the currency manipulator label from China.

On the local bourse, gainers and losers were almost even at 203 to 202. But trading volume and total turnover were higher than on Monday, with 1.5 billion shares worth $1.27 billion changing hands yesterday. The benchmark's 30 counters mostly fared well, with 22 finishing on higher ground.

The rally may not last long, however, said AxiTrader chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes. "We're starting to see a bit of air come out of the trade deal party balloons right now as some profit-taking is probably setting in."

Financial stocks led gains among the STI counters. DBS rose 0.6 per cent to $26.25 while United Overseas Bank added 0.5 per cent to $26.94.

Exceptions to the benchmark counters' generally rosy performance included Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Sats.

Media and property group SPH tumbled 1.8 per cent to $2.14 yesterday after a 17.2 per cent fall in net profit to $46.3 million for the first quarter ended Nov 30. The publisher of The Straits Times was hit by lower print advertising revenue and one-off retrenchment costs, even if property is proving to be a bright spot.

Meanwhile, mainboard-listed Sats dropped 0.8 per cent to $5.05 overnight, even as its subsidiary won a 25-year cargo terminal concession in King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia.

Shares of Tee International tumbled while those of Tee Land rose on news that the former is selling its 63.28 per cent stake in Tee Land to a unit of Malaysia's Amcorp Group for $50.62 million in cash, or 17.9 cents per share, a 5.9 per cent premium to the last transacted price on Jan 9.

Tee International fell 10.9 per cent to 5.7 cents, while Tee Land rose 1.8 per cent to 17.2 cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2020, with the headline 'STI rebounds on further thaw in Sino-US ties'. Subscribe