STI up for 4th straight day on China stimulus
FRESH stimulus in China helped local shares pick up yesterday where they left off in last week's rally.
On Friday, the People's Bank of China announced its sixth interest-rate cut since last November in a bid to stimulate stalling economic growth, while reducing banks' reserve requirement ratio.
Several key Asian markets gained ground on the monetary easing, with Shanghai putting on 0.5 per cent after a somewhat volatile session that saw some profit-taking.
"The (Shanghai) market was slightly buoyed by the central bank's rate cut, but appeared to be in a correction after it rose a lot in October, and some investors sold stocks on the short-lived rise," Haitong Securities analyst Zhang Qi told Reuters in Shanghai.
Tokyo gained 0.65 per cent to hit a fresh two-month high. But Hong Kong pared 0.15 per cent and Kuala Lumpur fell 0.24 per cent.
In Singapore, the benchmark Straits Times Index ended higher for a fourth straight day, rising 14.61 points or 0.48 per cent to 3,083.07, after a 1.2 per cent rise last week.
Still, there were some signs of a sell-off, with the STI ending below the 3,090 level that it maintained through most of the day. In all, 19 blue-chip stocks ended higher.
The top gainers were Golden Agri-Resources, which added two cents or 5.13 per cent to 41 cents, and Noble Group, which rose two cents or 3.7 per cent to 56 cents.
Since it dipped to a 12-month low on Oct 5, Noble has jumped a total 47.4 per cent as the commodity giant continued its gradual recovery from the Iceberg saga.
But balance sheet issues still remain, with a warning from rating agency Moody's last week saying that it may lose its investment-grade credit rating if credit issues are not resolved in the coming months.
Sembcorp Industries lost the most among the blue-chip counters, sliding nine cents or 2.43 per cent to $3.61. The company will announce its third-quarter results on Thursday, but investors were clearly downbeat on the group after Sembcorp Marine's third-quarter earnings plummeted 75.7 per cent year on year.