Apr 22, 2014

    S'pore bourse flat as traders play safe

    LOCAL shares were little changed coming back from the Easter break, with several bourses still closed for a holiday and traders content to play it safe.

    The inertia left the benchmark Straits Times Index just 2.03 points, or 0.06 per cent, higher at 3,255.83.

    Just 1.8 billion shares worth $742.1 million changed hands.

    With few leads at home, CMC Markets analyst Desmond Chua said punters will be looking to Wall Street for cues.

    "Looking ahead this week, (United States) first-quarter corporate earnings will continue to take centre stage, with recent beleaguered stock Netflix reporting (last night), while big names like Apple and Facebook report on Wednesday after the bell," he said in a note yesterday.

    "With only second-tier economic data due for release this week, the focus will likely be on corporate earnings in the US, with nearly one third of S&P 500 companies reporting."

    CapitaCommercial Trust (CCT) fell four cents to $1.595 after posting first-quarter revenue growth of 3.2 per cent and distribution per unit growth of 7.2 per cent year-on-year last week.

    OCBC Investment Research has downgraded its rating to "hold", saying its valuation looks rich now.

    "CCT has outperformed significantly in the year to date, appreciating 12.8 per cent versus the STI's 2.7 per cent movement over this period," noted analyst Eli Lee. "At this juncture, however, we believe CCT is almost fully valued."

    CapitaMalls Asia, which last week posted a 2.8 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit, was flat at $2.19.

    Parent firm CapitaLand has launched a takeover offer of the firm at $2.22 a share, and plans to take it private if successful.

    CapitaLand rose three cents to $3.21.

    A Singapore Exchange report yesterday noted that the 10 largest capitalised oil and gas stocks have averaged a 12-month total return of 10.8 per cent.

    Eight out of the 10 stocks distributed dividends.

    The three largest capitalised stocks were Keppel Corp, Sembcorp Marine and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings, it said.

    Keppel slipped six cents to $10.93, Sembcorp Marine gained a cent to $4.11 and Yangzijiang rose half a cent to $1.095 yesterday.

    The three best performing stocks among the 10 largest oil and gas stocks so far this year have been Vard Holdings, Pacific Radiance and Nam Cheong, the report added.

    Vard slid half a cent to $1.02, Pacific Radiance lost two cents to $1.065 and Nam Cheong added half a cent to 36 cents.