Nov 04, 2015

    STI rebounds in mostly quiet session

    LOCAL shares recouped some lost ground yesterday to snap a five-day losing streak, but sentiment is set to stay jittery amid economic uncertainty, with big gains unlikely in the days ahead.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rebounded 25.15 points or 0.85 per cent to 2,999.56, following a 3.5 per cent drop since Tuesday of last week.

    But it was still a mostly quiet session, with just 220.41 million shares transacted among the blue chips. Across the whole market, 1.3 billion shares worth $809.3 million were traded, with the strongest activity in the small- and mid-cap segment.

    The most active stock was real-estate and architecture firm Rowsley, which rose 0.8 cents or 4.19 per cent to 19.9 cents, with 73.4 million shares changing hands.

    The company - known for its billionaire shareholder, Peter Lim - will announce its third-quarter results today, on the back of upbeat sentiment in recent months following news of substantial investments in Manchester and a healthcare city project in Johor Baru.

    Agricultural play Japfa shot up 5.5 cents or 13.75 per cent to 45.5 cents, stretching its gain to a third day after announcing better-than-expected earnings for the three months to Sept 30.

    Among the blue chips, Noble Group was the top gainer after an active day. It added two cents or 4.17 per cent to 50 cents, on 54.3 million shares done. The company will announce its results on Nov 12.

    All three local banks gained, with DBS Group Holdings moving up 35 cents or 2.03 per cent to close at $17.60. OCBC Bank ended 19 cents or 2.12 per cent higher at $9.14, and United Overseas Bank put on 12 cents or 0.59 per cent to close at $20.33.

    CIMB analyst Jessalynn Chen gave both DBS and OCBC a buy call, with a hold for UOB, but cautioned that the trio will face muted loan demand ahead while credit cost increases will likely be prominent next year.

    SIA Engineering rose five cents or 1.27 per cent to $3.98, after it announced a 5.7 per cent rise in net profit to $44.5 million, and an interim dividend of six cents per share on Monday.

    At the other end of the ledger, Global Logistic Properties dropped the most, down three cents or 1.33 per cent to $2.22.