Bulls And Bears

Traders shake off worries over global events

A surge in oil prices likely helped market sentiment, after the energy ministers of key producers Saudi Arabia and Russia said an Opec-led crude production cut would be extended until March next year.
A surge in oil prices likely helped market sentiment, after the energy ministers of key producers Saudi Arabia and Russia said an Opec-led crude production cut would be extended until March next year.PHOTO: REUTERS

STI edges up, with help from blue chips and positive sentiment due to oil price surge

Singapore equities notched gains yesterday as investors shrugged off fears over North Korea's missile test and a global cyber attack.

A surge in oil prices likely helped sentiment as well, after the energy ministers of key producers Saudi Arabia and Russia said an Opec-led crude production cut would be extended until March next year.

The positive sentiment extended to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, which hit fresh record highs in early trading. The Frankfurt and London stock markets also touched record peaks.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) added 8.92 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 3,264.21. Turnover across the bourse hit 1.74 billion shares worth $1.31 billion.

Hong Kong led gains in Asia, rising 0.86 per cent to a 21-month high amid signs of stabilisation in the Chinese market.

The STI was propped up by blue chips, including Singtel, which put on 0.8 per cent or three cents to $3.74. The telco is due to announce its quarterly results on Thursday.

Genting Singapore shot up 6.5 per cent or seven cents to $1.15 in heavy trading. The casino operator posted a net profit of $181.1 million for the first quarter, well up on the $10.8 million in the same period a year earlier.

DBS Equity Research maintained its "buy" call on the counter, with a higher target price of $1.35, noting that its rally "can be sustained".

"Our view is underpinned by expected positive news flow, including continued recovery in earnings, details of Genting Singapore moving towards a more efficient capital structure, a refresh of Resorts World Sentosa, and a bid for a Japanese casino next year," it said in a report.

Some of the biggest laggards included transport group ComfortDelGro, which slumped 5.2 per cent or 14 cents to $2.55. The firm reported a 12.4 per cent growth in first-quarter earnings last week to $82.5 million, although its operating profit would have shrunk by 8.1 per cent to $100.5 million, excluding a special dividend.

A CIMB report noted that ComfortDelGro's earnings came in below expectations as a result of declining taxi profit due to competition from Uber and Grab. It cut its rating on the stock from "add" to "hold" in a report, with a lower target price of $2.78.

Elsewhere, CNMC Goldmine Holdings sank 4.8 per cent or 1.5 cents to 30 cents after it posted a 98.8 per cent plunge in first-quarter earnings to US$54.8 million (S$76.6 million) as lower ore grades hit output and sales volumes despite higher realised prices.

Disa, formerly known as Equation Summit, was the day's most heavily traded counter, sinking 3.3 per cent or 0.1 cent to 2.9 cents on 254.1 million shares done.

Other actives included commodity trader Noble Group, which continued its descent from last week, slumping 11.3 per cent or 7.5 cents to 59 cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2017, with the headline 'Traders shake off worries over global events'. Print Edition | Subscribe