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Singapore Share Market Update:Singapore, Malaysia stocks rise tracking gains in European equities as geopolitical fears ebb

Singapore shares rose on gains in European stocks boosted investors’ risk appetite, erasing earlier losses caused by concerns over geopolitical tensions. Malaysian stocks recovered from one-month lows, helped by a rally in crude oil prices.

In early trades in Singapore and Malaysia, investors adopted a cautious stance in light of the escalating tensions in Syria and North Korea. Following the positioning of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Korean peninsula, which led North Korea to ramp up war rhetoric, President Donald Trump said in a Twitter post that Pyongyang

Following the positioning of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Korean peninsula, which led North Korea to ramp up war rhetoric, President Donald Trump said in a Twitter post that Pyongyang is looking for trouble” and even without China’s help, the U.S. will solve the problem. However, early gains in European equities and a rebound in U.S. stock futures helped the shares stage a recovery in the later part of the day.

After adopting a wait-and-see attitude for several days after the Syrian air strikes, markets turned defensive, Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, wrote in a report. While there is no immediate threat to international financial flows or global commerce, the assertive positions of the U.S., Russia and North Korea have seen markets beginning to take insurance against the possibility that geopolitical risks will escalate.

Singapore’s FTSE Straits Times index rose 0.4% to 3,186.01, after falling 0.3% earlier in the session. Genting Singapore jumped 3.3% and Global Logistic Properties added 2.5%. Heavyweight Singapore Telecommunications was the biggest loser, falling 1.6%. Easing U.S. bond yields lifted CapitaLand Commercial Trust and CapitaLand
Mall Trust by at least 0.8% each.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. rose 1.2%. The lender signed an agreement to sell two of its subsidiaries to Network for Electronic Transfers (Singapore) for S$38 million.

Imperium Crown rose 1.5% after receiving letters of intent for divesting the remaining two of its Japanese properties for S$38.6 million.Amara Holdings jumped 7.5% to S$0.58 after RHB Research started coverage with a ‘buy’ and S$0.88 target share price, citing a new 343-room hotel in Shanghai that is expected to start operating in third quarter. The hotel has potential to boost revenues by more than S$20 million, RHB said.

Singapore retail sales fell 2.5% in February, according to data from the Singapore Department of Statistics. The outcome of Monetary Authority of Singapore’s policy meeting is due tomorrow.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI rose 0.5% to 1,744.08. The overall market breadth was, however, negative with declines outpacing advances by 506 to 427.

Astro Malaysia Holding, down almost 3% this month through Tuesday, rose 1.9%. Petronas Chemicals Group recouped losses of the last two sessions, rising 2.2%. Heavyweights Axiata Group and Genting rose at least 2% each.

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