Aug 05, 2016

    Asian rally, Wall St rebound lifts S'pore's sails

    SINGAPORE shares climbed higher yesterday, helped by a regionwide rally and a positive showing in the

    United States.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) inched up 4.38 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,831.96, putting a halt on its decline since the start of the week.

    A total of 1.31 billion shares worth $1.05 billion changed hands across the board.

    Commodity trader Noble Group rebounded strongly, jumping 1.3 cents or 9.8 per cent to 14.5 cents, as the company's new rights shares began trading. The counter was again the day's top active, with 399.2 million shares done.

    Noble is due to release its quarterly results next week, shedding light on the group's performance, funding and plans for asset sales.

    StarHub, Singapore's second-biggest telco, advanced four cents or 1 per cent to $3.920,

    after reporting a 9.6 per cent rise in

    second-quarter net profit to $108.6 million.

    A CIMB report said it maintains a "hold" call

    on the stock, although it raised its target price

    by 16 per cent to $3.70 to factor in the possibility that a fourth mobile operator may not materialise.

    Of the 30 STI constituents, 16 finished higher, 13 were down, and one was unchanged.

    Ascendas Reit was among those that performed well, rising six cents or 2.4 per cent to $2.52.

    Singtel added two cents or 0.5 per cent to $4.08.

    Real estate giant CapitaLand gained three cents or 1 per cent to $3.18, despite posting a 36.6 per cent drop in second-quarter net profit to $294 million.

    Oil and gas-related plays saw some respite after several days of selling amid a rise in crude prices.

    Keppel Corporation gained seven cents or

    1.3 per cent to $5.27. Sembcorp Marine climbed one cent or 0.8 per cent to $1.335.

    The latter's parent firm Sembcorp Industries, however, lost two cents or 0.7 per cent to $2.72.

    Other laggards included Thai Beverage,

    which fell 2.5 cents or 2.4 per cent to $1.025,

    and DBS Group Holdings, which slipped

    five cents or 0.3 per cent to $15.04.

    Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo rose 1.07 per cent, Hong Kong grew 0.43 per cent, and

    Shanghai edged up 0.13 per cent.

    Wall Street put on 0.1 per cent overnight amid a rise in crude prices and buoyant corporate earnings.

    "The focus is going to be probably on

    two events, obviously the Bank of England monetary policy meeting coming up and also

    the (US) non-farm payrolls," Chris Green, Auckland-based director of economics

    and strategy at First NZ Capital Group,

    told Bloomberg.

    The Bank of England yesterday cut its key rate for the first time in more than seven years as it ramps up its defences against a post-Brexit slump.

    Traders will likely be watching the US jobs data out on Friday for more clues as to when the

    Federal Reserve will hike interest rates.