Bulls & Bears

STI recovers as Nodx data lifts trader sentiment

Gainers outpace losers 246 to 177 on trade of 1.07b shares worth $1.22 b

Local shares rebounded yesterday to end a choppy week in the black as investors reacted positively to the country's non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) figures in September.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 0.37 per cent or 9.4 points to close at 2,533.02 with gainers outpacing losers 246 to 177 on trade of 1.07 billion shares worth $1.22 billion.

Investors took heart from news yesterday morning that the country's non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) rose 5.9 per cent year on year, due mainly to an increase in electronics shipments.

Wilmar International was top performer among the STI constituents, gaining 2.98 per cent to $4.49.

Singapore Airlines climbed 0.57 per cent to $3.51 following Thursday's news of the in-principle agreement of the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the cost of air tickets between the two cities jumped within 24 hours of the news.

The cheapest price for an SIA return economy seat to Hong Kong was $558 yesterday morning until the end of December, up from $400 on Thursday afternoon when the news was announced.

However, JPMorgan analyst Raisah Rasid noted that "the path of recovery in the services-producing sector, particularly in the context of the resumption of international travel and related services, which remains highly dependent on the path of Covid-19, bears watching".

In its last day of trading, units of CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) gained 0.61 per cent to $1.65.

The Singapore Exchange said on Thursday that CCT will be deleted from the STI in preparation for its merger with CapitaLand Mall Trust, while Keppel DC Reit, the largest stock on the STI Reserve as at Oct 14, is scheduled to join the STI.

Asian markets ended the week mixed. The Hang Seng Index gained 0.94 per cent as the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.13 per cent but the Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.41 per cent. Australian shares were in the doldrums for much of the session before a marked drop on poor showings amid stock index futures on Wall Street. The S&P/ASX 200 clawed ground back to end down 0.5pc but still ahead 1.2pc for the week and 6.2 per cent for the month.

US investors were awaiting data on retail sales and industrial production yesterday after the S&P 500 fell overnight, the third straight day of decline. Markets in the United States have been rattled by the surge in Covid-19 infections and faltering hopes that a stimulus package might land before the election.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2020, with the headline 'STI recovers as Nodx data lifts trader sentiment'. Subscribe