Bulls And Bears

Traders on edge after Indonesia terror attacks but Malaysia market shrugs off early jitters

News of a suicide bombing by ISIS-inspired militants at the police headquarters in Surabaya yesterday, following similar attacks on churches the day before, initially caused Indonesia's stocks to fall.
News of a suicide bombing by ISIS-inspired militants at the police headquarters in Surabaya yesterday, following similar attacks on churches the day before, initially caused Indonesia's stocks to fall.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

But Malaysia market inches up 0.2% on first trading day under new premier

No sooner had one shock election result unsettled traders for a spell than another unexpected event raised uncertainty in markets.

News of a suicide bombing by ISIS-inspired militants at the police headquarters in Surabaya yesterday, following similar attacks on churches the day before, initially caused Indonesia's stocks to fall.

The Jakarta Composite Index dropped as much as 1.7 per cent intra-day but recovered to close just 0.16 per cent down.

Most other markets - including Japan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Australia, Malaysia and India - still finished ahead, although the Straits Times Index lost 7.71 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 3,562.46.

About 1.5 billion shares worth $1 billion were traded.

Markets across the Causeway surprised with a 0.2 per cent uptick to 1,850.42, as stocks in Kuala Lumpur recovered from an early slump on its first trading day under new prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

There was about one stock that gained for every stock that retreated. The biggest gainer was Venture Corp, which added 75 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to $22.27 following recent share buy-backs.

Genting Singapore rose two cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $1.30, after Hong Leong Investment Bank upgraded its recommendation on the counter to "buy" from "hold". It also raised its target price to $1.42, from $1.27.

Olam International added two cents to $2.32, after booking a first-quarter net profit of $158 million, a rise of 9.8 per cent, on the back of higher sales of goods and services.

Among the losers was Jardine Cycle & Carriage, which lost 45 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $33.39, following its late April report of its net profit dive on recognition of fair-value losses in its first quarter.

Ezion Holdings lost 0.1 cent, or 0.9 per cent, to 11.5 cents after posting its first-quarter results on Sunday. These indicated a widening loss after income tax to US$46.4 million (S$61.8 million), from a US$12.7 million loss in the previous year.

Conglomerate Haw Par Corp retreated 28 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $13.38 after executive director Han Ah Kuan pared his stake in the company slightly by offloading 6,900 shares at about $13.58 each.

DBS Bank was unveiled yesterday as a new investor in the latest Series C funding round of classifieds marketplace Carousell. It also announced a collaboration to offer its financial products and payment services on Carousell's platforms.

But the news failed to lift the stock, which lost 25 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $29.22.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2018, with the headline 'Traders on edge after Indonesia terror attacks'. Print Edition | Subscribe