Singapore equities trade on positive note after long weekend

Singapore equities resumed trading on a positive note after the long weekend amid a mixed showing in the region.
Singapore equities resumed trading on a positive note after the long weekend amid a mixed showing in the region.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore equities resumed trading on a positive note after the long weekend amid a mixed showing in the region.

The benchmark Straits Times index (STI) put on 10.06 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 3,219.53. But overall turnover amounted to just 1.09 billion shares worth S$908.7 million.

In Asia, Tokyo advanced 0.36 per cent, while Shanghai was up 0.18 per cent thanks to data that showed profits at China's industrial firms surged 16.7 per cent in May from a year earlier, accelerating from 14 per cent in April.

Hong Kong pared 0.12 per cent and Sydney dipped 0.1 per cent. Malaysia and Indonesia remained closed for the holidays.

Traders stayed on the sides with an eye on US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's speech in London later Tuesday, largely hoping to get more clues over the central bank's future monetary policy.

"Her words will be scrutinised for any colour about the timing of the next rate hike against a backdrop of mounting concerns over the inflation outlook," said Societe Generale strategists in a Reuters report.

At home, UOL Group continued to rise following news last Friday that it will buy Haw Par Corporation's stake in United Industrial Corporation (UIC) via a share swap, gaining 1.2 per cent or nine cents to S$7.69.

UIC fell 1.5 per cent or five cents to S$3.19, while Haw Par Corporation added 1 per cent or 11 cents to S$11.31.

OCBC Investment Research said in a report the move "makes strategic sense" as the swap will enable UOL to acquire a significant UIC minority interest, which is otherwise not available given the lack of trading liquidity.

Keppel Corporation rose 0.8 per cent or five cents to S$6.28. Two of its units, Keppel Land China and Alpha Investment Partners, announced on Monday they have tied up with a co-investor to acquire an office and retail mixed-used development, Soho Hongkou in Shanghai, China, for about US$525 million.

Meanwhile, embattled commodity trader Noble Group sank 4.7 per cent or 2.5 cents to 50.5 cents. The drop came as Fitch Ratings on Friday downgraded the firm's credit ratings further into junk territory - its third such move since the middle of last month, and a rating that indicates that "default is a real possibility".