May 07, 2014

    Muted trade on local bourse

    THE local market inched up yesterday in an echo of slight overnight gains on Wall Street but sentiment remained muted and volumes were anaemic.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index still managed to rise amid the torpor, if only by 3.96 points or 0.12 per cent to close at 3,245.56.

    Across the market, a yawn-inducing 1.24 billion shares worth $651 million changed hands, less than Monday's already-soft 1.42 billion shares worth $788 million.

    Major indexes in New York had edged ahead between 0.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent on Monday to give investors here some clues for the day ahead.

    "The Dow Jones Industrials opened weak overnight and was down nearly 130 points at one stage but turned around after that to close positive," said NetResearch Asia in a note.

    "The direction was really unclear, given the mixed bag of news, including the weaker than expected Chinese manufacturing data. The other major indexes also saw similar swings into the red before recovering to close higher."

    Markets in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were closed for holidays.

    The most active stock here was HanKore Environment Tech Group, which added 0.4 cent or 3.7 per cent to close at 11.3 cents, as 105.03 million shares changed hands.

    Another active counter was Genting Singapore, up 3.5 cents or 2.7 per cent to $1.345 on 57.5 million shares.

    The company, which operates Resorts World Sentosa, said on Monday that first-quarter net profit rose 97 per cent to $228.5 million, from $115.9 million a year ago.

    Revenue rose 24 per cent to $828.8 million with gaming turnover ahead 29 per cent, while the non-gaming business recorded revenue growth of 6 per cent.

    OCBC Investment Research kept its fair value on Genting Singapore at $1.43, but upgraded the call to "buy" on valuation grounds, given the recent drop in share price.

    Tiger Airways Holdings stabilised after Monday's hammering. The counter had dropped 3.5 cents or 8 per cent to 40 cents, but yesterday inched up half a cent or 1.25 per cent to 40.5 cents.

    Sentiment has been soft since the budget carrier said on Friday that its fourth-quarter loss widened to $95.5 million, compared with the $15.38 million loss a year earlier. The loss was attributed mainly to exceptional charges and share of losses of associate and joint ventures.

    Tiger Airways has recorded pre-tax losses for the three most recent financial years.