Bulls And Bears

Traders cast aside their doubts on blue-chip buzz

STI ends 2-day losing streak to narrowly best 10-year high seen on Tuesday

Local equities were on a surer footing yesterday with the blue chips weighing in to help the market end the week on a modest high.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) added 29.05 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 3,550.36 - and a gain of 0.85 per cent for the week.

PhillipCapital's research team said the index "might be facing some immediate hurdle at the 3,550 resistance area". "This was the intra-day high back in April 2015, and it is currently causing some reaction," the analysts wrote.

They called the sentiment "bearish" for now and suggested that the market would find some support around the 3,469 mark.

Yesterday's close snapped a two-day losing streak and allowed the STI to narrowly best the 10-year high of 3,550.21 hit on Tuesday.

Transport operator ComfortDelGro marked the first day of its tie-up with ride-hailing service Uber by adding six cents, or 2.99 per cent, to $2.07 on a turnover of 20.45 million shares.

Sembcorp Industries helped the STI's cause as well, rising 14 cents, or 4.31 per cent, to $3.39, on a volume of 14.9 million shares.

The market had been all agog over rumours of Sembcorp plans to pursue the initial public offering of a unit in India.

Sembcorp Marine also headed north on the back of a Nomura rating upgrade to "buy".

It put on 20 cents, or 9.52 per cent, to $2.30, with 43.1 million shares moving.

Keppel Corp added 13 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $8.25.

Its offshore and marine unit, which has been plagued by the revelation of a 13-year bribery scheme in Brazil, has recouped some goodwill on the news of talks to offload six jack-up rigs to Oslo-listed Borr Drilling.

Genting Singapore ticked up one cent, or 0.76 per cent, to $1.33 with 18.44 million shares changing hands.

Elsewhere in the region, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong ended on yet another fresh high, with a 0.41 per cent gain for the day, to make it six straight weeks that it has finished higher.

Shanghai was not far behind, closing up 0.38 per cent as the Chinese cheer persists after strong economic growth numbers on Thursday.

The Nikkei added 0.19 per cent and the Kospi 0.18 per cent.

IwaiCosmo Securities broker Toshikazu Horiuchi told Agence France-Presse that the Japanese market "has been sustained by expectations of strong earnings", which will start to trickle in next week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2018, with the headline 'Traders cast aside their doubts on blue-chip buzz'. Print Edition | Subscribe