STI shy of 3,000 points as it inches up 0.18%

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) registered modest gains of 0.18 per cent, or 5.52 points, on Tuesday (Jan 19). Still, it was a whisker shy of the 3,000 mark – at 2,995.92 points at the close.

Jefferies’ global equity strategist Sean Darby is modestly bullish about Singapore shares, and said the dividend discount model suggests that the STI should trade around 3,200. He said booming money supply and a strong balance of payments are keeping liquidity conditions ample, while the dividend story remains intact.

Gainers outnumbered decliners 287 to 195 on the broader market yesterday, with $1.4 billion transacted over 2.93 billion securities.

Mainboard-listed Fu Yu Corp was one of the biggest decliners after it lifted its trading halt following an announcement that its founders had sold stakes of 29.8 per cent in total for $58.3 million to local fund management firm Pilgrim Partners Asia. Its shares were down 8.1 per cent to 28.5 cents.

Another mainboard-listed firm, Sunningdale Tech, benefited from a sweetened proposed corporate action. The offer price for the precision plastic components manufacturer was raised to $1.65 from $1.55 yesterday, making the counter one of the biggest gainers. It was trading at $1.62 at closing, up 3.85 per cent.

Jiutian Chemical was the most active counter, with 247.5 million shares traded. Its shares closed 3.81 per cent up at 10.9 cents.

Key regional indexes generally performed well, with gains of over 1 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 2.7 per cent, and South Korea’s Kospi clocked a marginally smaller gain of 2.61 per cent.

The Shanghai Composite Index, however, was 0.83 per cent lower, and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index was down 0.47 per cent.

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