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STI outperforms regional peers

This article is more than 12 months old

It closes up 16.6 points at 3,348.64 on back of improved China data

Regional benchmark indexes had a mixed session yesterday, even after Chinese Q1 gross domestic product and industrial production and retail sales data for March beat expectations.

China and Japan markets performed well, adding 0.3 per cent, while Australia dropped 0.3 per cent.

But the Straits Times Index (STI) pressed ahead, outperforming its regional peers.

STI had crossed the 3,350 mark during yesterday's session, before closing at 3,348.64, up 16.6 points or 0.5 per cent.

CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang told The Business Times: "The improved China data helped to underpin weakness from a weak non-oil domestic exports reading in Singapore, which fell 11.7 per cent in March due to a heavy decline in the electronic sector (-26.7 per cent year on year)."

"Investors believe that the worst is probably behind us, and economy could rebound some time in Q2 as demand from China is likely to pick up."

Trading clocked in at 1.18 billion securities, around 93 per cent of the daily average in the first three months of this year.

Total turnover came to $1.15 billion, higher than the January-to-March daily average by about 12 per cent.

Decliners slightly outpaced advancers 213 to 206.

Compared to the broader market, the benchmark index fared better on the day, with a third of the STI's 30 blue chips ending in the red.

Among them, casino operator Genting Singapore was the index's most traded.

The casino operator dropped 0.5 cent or 0.52 per cent to 96 cents with 25.9 million shares changing hands.

The three local banks all ended yesterday's session in positive territory.

"Even though earnings reports by the US banks were mixed, they are considered more positive than not, and have helped to support the Singapore-listed banks," a trader said.


Yesterday, DBS Group Holdings closed 33 cents or 1.22 per cent up at $27.49; OCBC Bank finished three cents or 0.26 per cent higher at $11.72; and United Overseas Bank added 21 cents or 0.79 per cent to end at $26.87.

Among non-STI counters, Asian Pay Television Trust continued its run as the bourse's most traded counter this week, on 71.2 million units traded.

However, this time round, its units fell 1.3 cents or 6.88 per cent to 17.6 cents.

The counter had gained 31.7 per cent during the first two sessions of the week after its trustee-manager said an independent strategic review of the trust and its main asset - Taiwan Broadband Communications Group - will be undertaken.

Real estate management trusts (Reits) underperformed, with the iEdge S-Reit 20 Index down 0.75 per cent on the day.

A remisier attributed the performance of the Reit index to "the sector facing some correction after its rally this year and investors moving away from defensive plays to more 'risk on' ones".

Staying on the topic of Reits, the three that count logistics player CWT as a major tenant rebounded from the sell-off on Tuesday.

CWT's parent missed interest and fee payments, thereby triggering a cross default under a HK$1.4 billion (S$241 million) loan facility.

Cache Logistics Trust gained 0.5 cent or 0.7 per cent to 72 cents; Mapletree Logistics Trust advanced two cents or 1.4 per cent to $1.44 and AIMS Apac Reit units added two cents or 1.4 per cent to close at $1.41.

In a note to clients, DBS Securities said that the sell-off was likely a case of "selling on news" and "might be an excuse to take profits" after Reits have rallied.

But it believed investors should take the opportunity to pick up on the dips.

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