Bulls And Bears

Uptick in S'pore market despite China power crisis, rate hike fears

• Tokyo, HK and KL bourses end lower as Seoul, Jakarta see gains

• Jardine Matheson is top gainer amid share buyback proposal

• STI up 0.4% as gainers outpace losers 237 to 217

Local shares went north yesterday despite China's power crisis and looming interest rate hikes.

Investors sent the Straits Times Index (STI) up 0.4 per cent or 12.39 points to 3,086.70, with gainers pipping losers 237 to 217 on trade of 1.46 billion shares worth $1.21 billion.

There was some market disquiet on news that China's factory activity fell last month to its lowest level since February last year, sparking concerns of a slowdown in growth, said IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong, adding that this may have a knock-on effect on the region.

Contagion risks from China's Evergrande Group and a power supply crunch could also weigh on the growth outlook, noted Mr Yeap.

"Overall, the economic landscape points to the potential need for more policy support to revive growth," he added.

These downside risks, together with the United States' debt issues and fears surrounding rising inflation, spooked several financial markets in the region.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was down 0.31 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.36 per cent and the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index ended 0.64 per cent lower.

Meanwhile, Seoul's Kospi gained 0.28 per cent and the Jakarta Composite Index was up 2.02 per cent.

Jardine Matheson Holdings was the top gainer on the blue-chip index here, with shares up 3.9 per cent to US$53.04.

It said yesterday it was proposing a US$250 million (S$340.3 million) share buyback plan.

Last month, Hongkong Land - a member of the Jardine Matheson Group - also announced it was proposing a US$500 million share buyback programme, which will be extended until Dec 31 next year. It owns and manages office and luxury retail properties in Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and Jakarta.

CapitaLand Investment was at the bottom of the STI table, shedding 3.4 per cent to $3.40.

Singtel was the most heavily traded on the blue-chip index with 36.7 million shares changing hands. Its shares were down 0.4 per cent to $2.46.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2021, with the headline 'Uptick in S'pore market despite China power crisis, rate hike fears'. Subscribe