S'pore and HK ride Wall Street rebound
THE Singapore market finished 0.09 per cent higher yesterday, with the Straits Times Index moving up 2.91 points to 3,284 as markets awaited hints from the United States Federal Reserve meeting on whether rates will rise in September.
About 1.98 billion shares worth $1.14 billion in total changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of 58 cents per share.
One of the most actively traded stocks was Stratech Group, which rose 0.9 cents to 5.6 cents with 109.2 million shares changing hands. Other actives included China Sports and China Essence.
Losers outnumbered gainers 230 to 184.
Hong Kong shares also ended 0.47 per cent higher yesterday, following a rally in US and European markets.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 115.51 points to 24,619.45, on turnover of HK$115.27 billion (S$20.3 billion).
Dealers were given a strong platform by their US counterparts, with Wall Street surging on Tuesday for the first time since a five-day losing streak.
New York's three main indexes advanced on the back of upbeat earnings from shipping giant UPS and a jump in petroleum stocks.
The Dow climbed 1.08 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 1.24 per cent and the Nasdaq jumped 0.98 per cent. There were also rallies in London, Paris and Frankfurt.
Investors were hoping for some guidance on the Fed's plans for raising interest rates in its policy statement to be released yesterday.
Elsewhere, Shanghai stocks closed up more than 3 per cent yesterday, rebounding after three consecutive sessions of losses fuelled by worries of another market rout.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.44 per cent, or 126.17 points, to 3,789.17 on turnover of 557.5 billion yuan (S$122.7 billion).
The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, added 4.13 per cent, or 87.11 points, to 2,198.81 on turnover of 523.1 billion yuan.
The Chinese authorities have launched broad interventions to control a rout after the Shanghai market fell 30 per cent from its peak in the middle of last month, raising questions over pledges of reforms in the world's second-largest economy.
The rebound followed an 8.48 per cent drop in the Shanghai market on Monday, the biggest one-day fall in eight years, and a 1.68 per cent loss on Tuesday. The market also sank 1.29 per cent on Friday, following a weak reading for this month's manufacturing activity.
After the market closed on Tuesday, the securities regulator warned it would investigate Monday's "abnormal" fall, blaming it on "concentrated" selling of shares. It gave no further details.
"The government's pledge to investigate Monday's plunge could keep the downside to a minimum for now," Bernard Aw, a strategist at IG Asia in Singapore, told Bloomberg News.
"In addition, state funds should continue to provide support to blue chips," he said.
Despite the rebound, analysts said relief might be temporary, as the Shanghai market could fall further in volatile trading.
"It's difficult for government measures to save the market in a single step," Zhang Gang, an analyst from Central China Securities, told Agence France-Presse.
"The bottom for the previous rout will be a test level for the market," he said, putting support for the Shanghai index at 3,500 points.
THE BUSINESS TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE