Jun 21, 2016

    Punters regain courage as fear of Brexit eases

    SINGAPORE equities kicked off on a positive note yesterday, in line with a broader rally across the region.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 37.45 points, or 1.36 per cent, to 2,800.87.

    Analysts attributed the buoyant sentiment to waning fears over Brexit following a poll that showed British voters were more in favour of staying in the European Union just days ahead of Thursday's referendum.

    "We are seeing a risk-on move after the latest Brexit poll," Niv Dagan, executive director at Peak Asset Management in Melbourne, told Bloomberg.

    "It may be short-lived and volatility is likely to remain high until Thursday's vote. This really could still go either way."

    Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo jumped 2.34 per cent, Hong Kong advanced 1.69 per cent and Sydney rose 1.82 per cent. Shanghai was nearly flat, inching up just 0.13 per cent, weighed down by fears of a yuan depreciation and tighter regulatory rules for speculative trading.

    The STI's performance yesterday was helped in part by oil and gas-related plays responding to higher oil prices.

    Sembcorp Marine jumped five cents or 3.2 per cent to $1.60 while parent company Sembcorp Industries gained nine cents or 3.2 per cent to $2.86. Keppel Corporation rose 12 cents or 2.2 per cent to $5.48.

    Palm oil giant Golden-Agri Resources was a big winner, surging two cents or 5.8 per cent to 36.5 cents, while the local banks also fared well.

    DBS Group Holdings put on 35 cents or 2.2 per cent to $15.95.

    The day's handful of laggards included real estate developer City Developments, which fell 14 cents or 1.6 per cent to $8.71, and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings), down half a cent or 0.6 per cent to 88.5 cents.

    Outside the blue chips, Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust, which was slated to start trading at 4.30pm yesterday, was put on a trading halt as its manager said the short trading time may "give rise to a disorderly trading market in the units". It commences trading at 9am today.

    Offshore contractor Ezra Holdings was the most heavily traded, rising 0.2 cent or 2.6 per cent to 7.8 cents on a volume of 45.6 million units.