Jun 16, 2016

    Increased trading a 'blip' amid volatility

    THE risk appetite recovered somewhat in the region after days of selling but market watchers expect it will be only a blip amid a volatile week ahead.

    Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) closed up 5.92 points or 0.21 per cent to 2,774.25, helped by a late rally that pushed the index up from 2,761.

    Elsewhere, Shanghai added 1.58 per cent, Hong Kong rose 0.39 per cent, Tokyo closed up 0.38 per cent and Kuala Lumpur gained 0.11 per cent. Remisier Desmond Leong, however, remained cautious, seeing more volatility in the coming days ahead of the Brexit referendum next Thursday.

    "Investors may be betting on a dovish statement by the Federal Reserve at the end of its current meeting," he told The Straits Times.

    The potentially short-lived momentum still pushed 15 of the 30 STI constituents higher yesterday, with Jardine Cycle & Carriage up the most, adding 47 cents or 1.43 per cent at $33.31.

    Blue-chip developers also had a lift after May's private home sales rose 64.2 per cent year on year.

    City Developments rose 12 cents or 1.39 per cent to $8.77 while CapitaLand put on three cents or 1.01 per cent to $2.99 following its announcement of a venture fund to invest up to $100 million in tech start-ups globally.

    Genting Singapore added half a cent or 0.69 per cent to 73 cents. The gaming operator has been under scrutiny lately amid news of job cuts and tumbling earnings but CIMB gave it a buy call and a target price of 89 cents in a note this week.

    "Resorts World Jeju, set to open progressively in 2017 to 2019, could contribute $145 million recurring net profit per annum to Genting Singapore, by our estimate," it said, adding that the concerns around the firm's bad debt charges may create buying opportunities ahead of the potential earnings boost by the Korean venture.

    Hutchison Port Holdings Trust led the 11 laggards on the STI, closing down half a US cent or 1.1 per cent at 45 US cents. SIA Engineering dropped four cents or 1.05 per cent to $3.77.

    Outside the STI, retailer stocks had a mixed day. Sheng Siong Group closed down 1.5 cents or 1.69 per cent at 87.5 cents while Metro Holdings closed flat at $1.035.

    Retail sales in Singapore improved 3.8 per cent year on year in April, the Department of Statistics said yesterday, but dropped 3 per cent excluding motor vehicle sales.