Bulls And Bears

Early hongbao for investors as STI surges

Globally, however, concerns remain over job market and further interest rate hikes in US

Regional markets had a mixed day ahead of the Chinese New Year break, with the festive mood somewhat dampened by concerns over the US job market.

But local investors achieved a spirited sign-off for the holiday, as the Straits Times Index surged 64.72 points or 2.53 per cent to 2,623.21 yesterday. This helped trim the STI's five-day drop to 0.22 per cent.

Remisier Alvin Yong said: "The CNY rebound was probably driven partly by shortsellers closing their position for profit. Still, this should put a smile on some investors' faces, especially those who have been bargain-hunting recently.

"But I don't think you should expect next week to be equally bullish. A short trading week is usually cautious and quiet, not to mention the anxiety over company results coming up in the next two weeks."

The Singapore market will be closed next Monday and Tuesday for the holiday. The break will be longer in China, with Shanghai and Shenzhen closed for the full week.

Shanghai pared 0.63 per cent yesterday, Shenzhen dropped 1.15 per cent but Hong Kong put on 0.55 per cent. Tokyo closed down 1.32 per cent. These followed the 0.49 per cent rise of the Dow Jones Industrial Average overnight.

Globally, investors are still eyeing the Federal Reserve's decisions on further rate hikes this year, and key indicators such as the non-farm payroll data out yesterday.

In any case, local investors appeared to be less bothered yesterday. In all, 27 of the 30 STI constituent stocks closed higher, with Singtel leading the pack.

The telco rose 22 cents or 6.32 per cent to $3.70, with 47.7 million shares done. The vibrant session followed news that Singtel's Australian unit Optus has bought airwaves to expand its 4G network there.

Noble Group was another active counter, with 61.2 million shares changing hands. It jumped 1.5 cents or 4.76 per cent to 33 cents.

Singapore Exchange rose, up 23 cents or 3.37 per cent to $7.05, and Singapore Press Holdings surged 11 cents or 3.06 per cent to $3.70.

Singapore Airlines ended 42 cents or 3.88 per cent higher at $11.24, a day after reporting significant earnings growth.

Global Logistic Properties also saw a big earnings jump for the quarter to Dec 31, with net profit up 63.8 per cent year-on-year, it said on Thursday. Shares of the logistics facility developer were ahead by five cents or 3.07 per cent at $1.68.

The good results offered DBS Group Research enough reason yesterday to give GLP a buy call with a target price of $2.47.

Only two blue chip counters dropped yesterday. Sats shed five cents or 1.24 per cent to $3.97, and Thai Beverage closed down 0.5 cent or 0.74 per cent at 67.5 cents.

Outside the STI, SBS Transit rose one cent or 0.51 per cent to $1.99, before it announced a 17 per cent year-on-year increase in full-year net profit.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2016, with the headline 'Early hongbao for investors as STI surges'. Print Edition | Subscribe