THE Straits Times Index (STI) on Thursday gained 0.18 of a point to 3,439.86. The market's turnover stood at 2.1 billion units worth S$2.21 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers 225-to-186.
The crossing of a large parcel of Global Logistic Properties (GLP) shares worth S$964 million lent some respectability to the total volume figure but it did little to dispel the notion of a market stuck in a trading range, mired in low liquidity while looking for inspiration but finding none.
As it turned out, the total volume done in GLP of S$1.06 billion formed 48 per cent of the S$2.2 billion done by the whole market, the GLP total boosted by the parcel of 351.6 million shares which crossed at S$2.74 per share. The stock ended S$0.08 higher at S$2.82 on total volume of 387 million.
Stripping out GLP's volume, turnover amounted to S$1.14 billion, slightly better than recent disappointing totals. "This is the market's new normal,'' said a dealer. "Low volume and low interest even if we have low valuations."
Brokers were unable to shed light on who bought or sold a parcel of that size.
In the offshore marine sector, shares of Ezion Holdings managed to rebound S$0.01 to S$1.08 on volume of 17 million, after coming under pressure earlier in the week on news that it is being sued by Atlantic Marine Services (AMS).
Nomura said the company on Wednesday hosted an analyst briefing to discuss the lawsuit. "Ezion guided that it is currently preparing its court filings on this case, and the court could decide by 3 June 2015, at the earliest, whether further court hearings are required, or AMS' court applications might be striken out,'' said Nomura.
"Notwithstanding the near-term share price overhang, we are comfortable with Ezion's clarifications, and retain our Buy rating and target price of S$2.10."