Oct 24, 2014

    Good news inspires market rally here

    BETTER news on the economic front gave investors the confidence to return to the market and fuel a strong rally.

    The improved sentiment sent the benchmark Straits Times Index up 33.76 points to 3,236.5, with 1.27 billion shares worth $1.02 billion changing hands.

    Investors were cheered by stronger-than-expected manufacturing and services data in the euro zone, which helped stocks rebound.

    Closer to home, figures showing that inflation eased to 0.6 per cent last month and an announcement on Monday from National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan that the number of Build-to-Order flats to be launched next year will be reduced by 25 per cent were seen as positive.

    There will also be fewer sites released under the Government Land Sales Programme.

    Mr Khaw noted that the Government has been reducing land sales for executive condominiums and private condominiums, and "will go a bit further" next year.

    "This is a small gesture, but a step in the right direction," remisier Alvin Yong said.

    Property counters responded and were among the top gainers: CapitaLand rose 1 per cent or three cents to $3.01, City Developments gained 1.5 per cent or 14 cents to $9.57 and Hongkong Land advanced 2.36 per cent or 16 US cents to US$6.94.

    International Healthway Corp was the most active stock, jumping 1.9 per cent or 0.5 cent to 27 cents, with 125.6 million shares changing hands. Genting Singapore, which had plunged to four-year lows in recent weeks, rebounded 1.9 per cent or two cents to $1.06, with 29.5 million shares changing hands.

    Several offshore and marine counters, which had fallen significantly in the past month on the back of declining crude oil prices, also rebounded on signs of a recovering United States economy.

    Ezion Holdings was among the top volume stocks. It jumped 6.8 per cent or 10 cents to $1.57, with 24.4 million shares traded. Vard Holdings gained 5.3 per cent or 3.5 cents to 69.5 cents, with 21.3 million shares traded, while Ezra Holdings rose 5.7 per cent or 4.5 cents to 84 cents, with 11.7 million shares traded.

    LionGold Corp slipped 5.4 per cent or 0.2 cent to 3.5 cents, after posting a profit warning for the full year. Its results are due by Monday.

    It said it is expected to report a "further loss before tax" for the full year ended March 31 due to additional losses from the impairment on available-for-sale financial assets; and impairment losses on exploration and evaluation expenditure.