The Business Times

STI jumps 1.12% on bargain hunting after recent falls

Anita Gabriel
Published Tue, Mar 1, 2022 · 05:52 PM

SINGAPORE shares rose on Tuesday (Mar 1) with the key gauge on a roller coaster since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The key Straits Times Index rose 36.39 points or 1.12 per cent to 3,278.63, partly led by bargain hunting as value emerged from recent falls on the back of the geopolitical tensions. This was a reversal from the sour note the index began the week on, tumbling 1.6 per cent on Monday as the US and EU slapped more sanctions on Russia after it moved in on Ukraine.

Upbeat manufacturing data out of China, the world's second largest economy, eased fears of a China slowdown. Encouraging manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Indexes (PMIs) across South-east Asia - namely Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia - signalled resilience in the face of the Omicron storm well, and helped to improve trading sentiments.

Key equity gauges across the region from Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan to Australia gained while Malaysia bucked the trend and closed in the red.

"Asian equity markets are off to a strong start ... as bargain hunters emerge in force, a rerun of the second half of last week's price action. This is telling, it shows that there is still plenty of money on the sidelines waiting to get back in if, indeed, peak Ukraine has arrived," said Jeffrey Halley, Oanda's senior market strategist.

He added: "It is equally likely though, (that) we (will) see another panicked rush for the door if a stream of negative headlines - a breakdown in Ukraine-Russia talks for example, or widespread use by Russia of thermobaric explosives - starts hitting the wires."


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Turnover on the local bourse stood at 1.30 billion units worth S$1.61 billion. Tuesday's gains were led by Jardine Cycle & Carriage, DBS, UOB and Sembcorp Industries. Gainers outpaced losers with 303 counters up and 164 down.

Golden Agri-Resources was most active, with 71 million shares done. The counter advanced S$0.005 or 1.75 per cent to S$0.29 on strong earnings, led by strong crude palm oil prices, higher production output and improved margins in its downstream business. The agri giant's net profit jumped 71 per cent to US$323 million for the second half ended-2021 from the corresponding period a year ago on the back of a 55 per cent rise in revenue to US$5.7 billion.

Rex International Holding showed up as the day's sixth most active with 37.2 million shares done. The counter dipped S$0.01 or 2.38 per cent to S$0.41. The midsized upstream oil firm issued a stellar second-half and full-year earnings report card on Monday on the back of elevated oil prices and higher demand. For the full year, the firm turned around with a profit of US$67 million from a loss of US$14 million in the previous year. The board recommended a final dividend of S$0.005 per for FY2021 and added that it may consider paying an interim dividend, subject to its performance in the H1FY2022.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings rose S$0.06 or 4.35 per cent to S$1.44. DBS Group Research raised its target price for the counter to S$2.15, citing elevated order wins, sector optimism and potential increase in the dividend payout.

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