Bulls And Bears

Markets shrug off N. Korean missile launch

Straits Times Index among bourses that closed higher after initial knee-jerk sell-off

Stock markets appeared to push aside Pyongyang's latest provocation yesterday as risk appetite returned to lift most bourses higher after an initial knee-jerk sell-off as tensions were ramped up.

"It seems that it takes more than a few rockets fired over Japan to deliver a prolonged and meaningful market reaction in a world where a wall of central bank-printed money is waiting for any sign of a dip to come in and start buying," said ING head of Asia research Rob Carnell in a note.

"Possibly Hurricane Harvey's impact on agricultural prices is helping thoughts that a spot of inflation will return to the US and get the Fed back on its tightening track?

"If nothing else, Harvey is diverting attention from the US President's other problems, though we note that little tangible progress seems to be being made on the US Treasury debt-ceiling showdown due on Sept 29."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.26 per cent overnight on Tuesday as the probability that the United States Federal Reserve would notch up interest rates a third time this year fell below 30 per cent in response to the more cautious outlook.

The Hang Seng Index gained 1.19 per cent. At home, the Straits Times Index closed 0.49 per cent higher at 3,265.26.

Overall, turnover on the Singapore bourse reached $1.02 billion on volume of 1.94 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers 242 to 186.

Rowsley was the top active, followed by QT Vascular and OLS.

Shares of civil engineering firm Swee Hong rose 0.1 cent or 5.56 per cent to 19 cents, making it the fifth most traded counter. Swee Hong said the night before it had swung back into the black with a net profit of $30.2 million in the last year versus a net loss of $10.2 million a year ago.

Also making a return to the actives list was NetLink NBN Trust. Units in the fibre optic cable owner climbed one cent or 1.24 per cent to 82 cents - the highest close since its July initial public offering (IPO) - with 21.9 million units changing hands.

On Tuesday, DBS Group Research initiated coverage on NetLink with a 95-cent target price. UOB Kay Hian initiated coverage with a 93- cent target price on the same day.

Shares of Cordlife rose three cents or 3.7 per cent to 84 cents yesterday. The private cord blood bank reported a net loss of $2.6 million in the 12 months to June 30, but revenue was up 0.6 per cent from a year ago to $60 million, the highest since its IPO in 2012, it said.

Cityneon Holdings, a creative agency, called for a trading halt yesterday ahead of an announcement that it had acquired the rights to Jurassic World: The Exhibition for US$25 million (S$34 million). It resumes trading today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2017, with the headline 'Markets shrug off N. Korean missile launch'. Print Edition | Subscribe