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Singapore tech counters mostly up after post-opening dip on Tuesday

TECHNOLOGY and manufacturing counters were among the Singapore bourse's biggest gainers from Monday's trading session with a number of counters continuing to be strongly traded during Tuesday's early session.

On the back of news on Monday of a possible trade resolution between the US and China, Venture Corp was the Straits Times Index's (STI) biggest gainer on the day, rallying 3.5 per cent or S$0.64 to close at S$19.09. Other tech stocks such as Hi-P International (up S$0.15 or 11 per cent at S$1.51 on Monday) and Memtech International (added S$0.08 or 7.8 per cent to S$1.11 on Monday).

Market watchers noted that profit taking could be one of the factors for the relatively heavy volume.

UOB Kay Hian's vice-president of equities and financial products Brandon Leu said: "Much of what contributed to the movement was down to profit taking by investors, after recent run up and as earnings season draws to a close."

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A trader that The Business Times contacted shared his sentiment, as did Phillip Securities principle trading representative Marcus Toh. Of profit taking, Mr Toh explained that it was common after strong counter performances and noted that as a whole, the "overall trend for the market is still up".

The Singapore market also took the cue from a weaker US market closing on Monday, with the STI slipping 0.41 per cent or 13.2 points to 3,237.88 as at 9.01am. 

Mr Leu said: "China's announcement that it is cutting growth target to 6-6.5 per cent, could possibly have added to the selling mood too."

A number of other counters - such as Venture, AEM Holdings, Memtech and Creative Technology - also opened lower.

However, the commentators also added that China's move - issued at the opening of the country's annual meeting of parliament on Tuesday - to cut the value-added tax rate for manufacturing to 13 per cent in 2019, down from 16 per cent could have given a lift to such counters.

Mr Toh said: "Regardless of what people say, China will want to help manufacturers to compete.

"China needs to export their currency overseas, which is always a long-term plan so they have more of a say in the world arena."

The counters have mostly pared post-opening losses. As at 11.30am, Venture shares were down S$0.14 or 0.7 per cent at S$18.95, Hi-P shares were higher by S$0.06 or 4 per cent at S$1.57, Memtech shares were flat at S$1.11.

Meanwhile, AEM shares were trading up S$0.02 or 1.7 per cent at S$1.19 and Creative shares had risen S$0.02 or 0.4 per cent at S$5.13.