Week starts with flat trading session, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Week starts with flat trading session

This article is more than 12 months old

STI flat, decliners outweigh advancers 188 to 159

With market volatility arising from renewed US-China trade tensions dominating sentiment in recent weeks, investors had a relatively dull start to the week, for a change.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI), which spent most of the session trading lower, was little changed, and recovered to settle at 3,170.77, down 0.88 point.

Trading volume clocked in at 922.48 million securities or 73 per cent of the daily average in the first four months of the year. Total turnover came to $643.5 million, 63 per cent of the January-to-April daily average.

Regional indices, while mixed, were mostly range-bound. Australia and South Korea were unchanged, Hong Kong was lower. On the other hand, China, Japan and Malaysia ended higher.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.3 per cent, buoyed by US President Donald Trump not appearing to take a tough stance on trade issues with Japan.

The Shanghai Composite Index posted the strongest gains, adding 1.4 per cent on the day, as investors were hopeful of further policy support after industrial profits fell in April.

IG market strategist Pan Jingyi said that other than developments surrounding trade issues, "heavyweights that could move markets this week like US consumer confidence data and China's official manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Mangers' Index) for May are only due from Tuesday".

The US and British markets were also shut for a holiday.

Across the local market, decliners outpaced advancers 188 to 159.

The benchmark index had 12 of the STI's 30 components trading in the red.

Among them, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the benchmark index's most traded stock, with 20.6 million shares changing hands. The shipbuilder closed flat at $1.37.

Ms Pan noted that financials underperformed the blue-chip index on Monday.

DBS Group Holdings closed 14 cents or 0.6 per cent down at $25.06 and OCBC Bank edged down two cents or 0.2 per cent to $10.99.

Meanwhile, United Overseas Bank continued to trend up, finishing at $24.70, gaining six cents or 0.2 per cent. Bourse operator Singapore Exchange (SGX) was unchanged at $7.62.

Most real estate investment trusts (Reits) closed in the black with CapitaLand Mall Trust, which added one cent or 0.4 per cent higher to $2.45, one of the gainers.

"Investor preference is shifting to Reits as they have managed to keep payouts relatively stable amid US-China trade tensions and face a favourable interest rate environment where rates may even be lowered further toward the end of the year," UOB Kay Hian's vice-president of equities and financial products Brandon Leu said.

Penguin International, which conducts the building, repair, maintenance, and chartering of vessels, saw its shares add 0.5 cent or 1.1 per cent to close at 45 cents on heavier-than-usual trading.

Last Friday, CGS-CIMB initiated coverage on Penguin International with an "add" call and a target price of 72 cents, with analyst Cezzane See saying that the company remains profitable and its valuations are cheap compared to its local peers.

Eagle Hospitality Trust, which commenced trading last Friday, shed three US cents (4.1 Singapore cents) or 4.1 per cent to 70 US cents on 11.5 million units traded. The staple security traded about 10 per cent or eight US cents below its initial public offering price.

ISR Capital was the bourse's most heavily traded counter, gaining a tick to close at 0.3 cent on 84.5 million shares changing hands. Of those shares, 66 million were traded shortly after the opening bell at 0.3 cent.

Prior to the market opening, ISR said it had been granted a further extension to hold its annual general meeting for fiscal 2018 by June 29.

For full listings of SGX prices, go to https://www2.sgx.com