Oct 11, 2016

    Regional stocks slip ahead of US election

    SINGAPORE joined most of the South-east Asian markets to end the day on a low note although Chinese bourses resumed trading with a bang after a long holiday.

    The Straits Times Index closed down five points or 0.17 per cent at 2,870.24 while Kuala Lumpur ended flat and Jakarta shed 0.3 per cent.

    In Thailand, news that the Thai King's health was unstable stirred concern, sending the SET Index down 3.15 per cent.

    The falls followed a 0.15 per cent drop on Wall Street last Friday. Investors are turning cautious ahead of the United States presidential election on Nov 8, an event that has historically induced volatility.

    Shanghai, however, rose 1.45 per cent after the weeklong break in China.

    Hong Kong and Tokyo were both closed for holidays.

    On the STI, 15 of the 30 constituents dropped yesterday.

    Thai Beverage was the top loser, down two cents or 2.01 per cent to 97.5 cents, likely due to profit-taking on ThaiBev's 8 per cent gain last month.

    Property firm UOL Group closed down five cents or 0.85 per cent at $5.80, and City Developments eased six cents or 0.66 per cent to $9.07.

    City Developments launched Forest Woods on the weekend with buyers snapping up 337 of the 519 units.

    The project is jointly developed by City Developments, Hong Leong Holdings and TID.

    There were only seven STI gainers yesterday, with Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust leading after rising one cent or 0.4 per cent to $2.49.

    ComfortDelGro added one cent or 0.36 per cent to $2.80.

    Away from the benchmark segment, there was considerably more buzz among the small and mid-cap counters.

    This was partly reflected by the total market volume - about 2.21 billion shares were traded, worth $610.9 million.

    Among the top active counters was SunMoon Food, which rose 3.7 cents or 54.41 per cent to 10.5 cents on 122.02 million shares traded.

    The fresh fruit and dehydrated produce company is now on DBS analyst Paul Yong's radar.

    "(SunMoon) has an asset-light, consumer-centric and brand-focused business model.

    "The proposed entry of Yi-guo E-commerce, which has a strategic partnership with Alibaba, not only provides working capital for SunMoon but also fast-tracks its expansion plan in China," he said.