Bulls And Bears

Singapore stocks snap 2-day losing streak

STI ends up by 12.52 points in spite of Wall St decline and poor showing by Asian shares

Singapore shares outperformed regional peers yesterday, snapping a two-day losing streak by gaining ground, even after an overnight slump on Wall Street and a poor showing from other Asian bourses.

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 12.52 points, or 0.46 per cent, to end the day at 2,745.39. Tokyo was another gainer in the region, up 0.4 per cent. But other major Asian bourses ended in the red.

Hong Kong fell 0.7 per cent, Seoul dropped 0.13 per cent, Shanghai lost 0.04 per cent and Sydney slipped 0.24 per cent.

Mr Tim Schroeders, a Melbourne-based portfolio manager at Pengana Capital, told Bloomberg: "There's just enough out there to keep investors cautious. We've got earnings disappointments and currency volatility, so people are sitting back and waiting as opposed to continuing with the frenzy."

Among the top actives at home was Yuuzoo, a social media, e-commerce and entertainment company whose stock has surged in the past week since announcing healthy first-quarter profits.

However, the counter dropped 1.9 cents, or 9.5 per cent, yesterday after the company called for a trading halt in the morning and announced that its auditors, from auditing firm Moore Stephens, have included a disclaimer of opinion in its finalised auditors' report on Yuuzoo's financial results for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2015.

The auditors have said that they "have not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion" in relation to Yuuzoo's franchise business.

Yuuzoo grows its social e-commerce and payments business through an international network of franchisees.

The auditors said that they were unable to determine whether the valuation model, estimates and assumptions used by Yuuzoo to value the business in its books were fair, or whether an adjustment to the financial statement should be made.

Yuuzoo responded by saying that it had commissioned two independent valuations of the business, which both came up with a value within the same narrow range.

Noble Group was another actively-traded stock yesterday as investors anticipated the release of its first-quarter numbers. The counter rose a cent to 36 cents, before the commodities firm said after the market closing that first-quarter profit had plunged 62 per cent, and it has arranged two credit facilities totalling US$3 billion (S$4 billion).

Singtel gained five cents to $3.89, after its launch on Wednesday of a new version of its mobile payment app, Dash, as well as a SIM card that allows users to tap their phones to pay for bus and train rides.

OCBC Investment Research said in a note yesterday that Singtel is likely to be the least affected by the entrance of a fourth telco here, and reiterated a "buy" call on the stock.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore stocks snap 2-day losing streak'. Print Edition | Subscribe