Jul 12, 2016

    Asia rides Japan stimulus, US jobs data wave

    ASIAN stocks powered ahead into the new week, boosted by hopes for more stimulus in Japan and strong jobs data from the United States.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) was not left out of the party, adding 29.1 points, or 1.02 per cent, to close at 2,876.14 yesterday.

    Tokyo led the region-wide rally, surging 3.98 per cent on a weaker yen after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition won an election on Sunday, paving the way for possible fresh stimulus measures.

    Elsewhere, Hong Kong added 1.54 per cent while Shanghai inched up 0.23 per cent.

    Sydney jumped 2.04 per cent, Seoul put on 1.3 per cent and Jakarta advanced 1.96 per cent.

    The strong showing in the region was helped by Wall Street, which rose 1.4 per cent last Friday to reach a 13-month high, following a report that showed June payrolls in the US expanded the most since October.

    "The US economy is fine but the outlook for the rest of the world is holding them back from raising rates," Mark Matthews, head of Asia research at Bank of Julius Baer, told Bloomberg.

    The STI's solid performance was led by telco Singtel, which rose nine cents or 2.2 per cent to $4.23, and warehouse provider Global Logistic Properties, up four cents or 2.2 per cent to $1.87.

    OCBC Investment Research analyst Eli Lee noted in a report that Global Logistic Properties' share buyback efforts since May 19 have "continued unabated", maintaining a "buy" call on the stock.

    Sembcorp Industries, which announced it had signed agreements with Mitsubishi Electric and Scinor (Asia) to test-bed new technologies for water, climbed three cents or 1.1 per cent to $2.85.

    Outside the blue chips, workforce solutions and services provider Advancer Global debuted on the Catalist board to finish at 39 cents - 77.3 per cent higher than its offering price of 22 cents - on a sizeable volume of 41.1 million units.

    The rights shares of commodity trader Noble Group, which sank 0.6 cent or 10.9 per cent to 4.9 cents, were the day's most heavily traded, with 240.2 million units done.

    Trading across the bourse totalled 1.39 billion shares, worth $927.8 million.