Bulls And Bears

STI buoyed by positive earnings reports

It chalks up seventh day of gains as results of 4 component stocks meet or exceed forecasts

Local shares narrowly locked in their seventh straight session of gains yesterday as a buoyant earnings season lifts spirits.

Four Straits Times Index (STI) component stocks - Singapore Press Holdings, Keppel Corp, CapitaLand Mall Trust and CapitaLand Commercial Trust - have announced their results, with all meeting or exceeding expectations, said CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang.

This "so far so good" sentiment helped the STI reach an intraday high of 3,360.95 points in early trading - a level last seen in July 2015 - before closing just 0.27 per cent higher at 3,349.80.

DBS Group Holdings, Keppel Corp and Thai Beverage gave the STI the biggest lift, while City Developments was the biggest drag.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.64 per cent while the Shanghai Composite squeaked by with a 0.06 per cent gain as traders once more pondered the unusual bout of calm in China's markets.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 put on 1.11 per cent after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sealed a landslide election win at the weekend, paving the way for more Abenomics stimulus measures.

In the broader Singapore market, turnover reached $1.01 billion on a volume of 1.99 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers 228 to 196.

The day's second-most active counter was Fu Yu Corp, which jumped two cents or 10.53 per cent to 21 cents, on a volume of 81.6 million. A bulk of that volume came from two married deals, which saw 64 million shares changing hands at 18 cents apiece.

A married deal is an off-the-market transaction between two parties on an agreed price. The most likely seller here is Mr Ng Hock Ching, a former executive director of Fu Yu who has been offloading his shares throughout the year. He still had 74.6 million shares amounting to a 9.9 per cent stake as of Oct 11.

A market source said that if Mr Ng is finally on his way out, Fu Yu - which has a cash pile of $97 million and zero debt - can probably focus more on growth, and that may have sparked a rally in the plastic manufacturer.

The day's top gainer was Delong Holdings, which surged 30 cents or 9.26 per cent to $3.54 on a volume of 323,700. It triggered a trading query from the Singapore Exchange, its second this month.

Delong said later that it expects to report a significant rise in net profit in the third quarter from a year ago, mainly due to higher selling prices of goods sold amid production cuts and increased infrastructure and construction activities in China.

Shanghai Turbo Enterprises called for a trading halt yesterday pending an announcement.

Great Eastern and Ascott Residence Trust release earnings reports today before the market opens. Mapletree Industrial Trust and Cache Logistics Trust will report earnings after the close of trading.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2017, with the headline 'STI buoyed by positive earnings reports'. Print Edition | Subscribe