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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Market Update: Singapore stocks log best week in nine months, Malaysian shares rise

Singapore shares posted their best weekly advance since January, helped by a rally in property developers and lenders, while Malaysian equities also rose over the last five days to snap a two-week losing run.

Singapore's FTSE Straits Times index rose 0.9% to 3,291.29 on Friday, taking its rally this week to 2.2%. UOL Group added 5.3% since last Friday, pacing gains for real estate developers. DBS Group Holdings led banking stocks higher, climbing 3.2% this week. On Friday, UOL Group was up 4.3% and DBS by 0.8%.

Property Singapore stocks in the city-state gained this week after City Developments bought a residential site worth more than S$900 million ($660 million), reigniting optimism for Singapore's real estate market, according to at least two brokerages. Shares of City Developments rose 2.3% this week.

Lenders climbed for a third consecutive week, tracking a rise in U.S. bond yields amid optimism over tax reforms in the world's largest economy. Singapore rates are heavily influenced by the U.S. and a rising interest rate scenario helps the net interest rate margin outlook for banks. The benchmark 10-year U.S. bond yield is trading near a four-month high.

Gains in Singapore stocks this week were also helped by a record run on Wall Street that saw all three major U.S. equity benchmarks repeatedly scale record highs.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI ended up 0.3% to 1,764 on Friday, rising 0.5% this week. AMMB Holdings and RHB Bank were the week's top performers, adding at least 2.4% each, rebounding from last week's losses. On Friday, AMMB rose 0.2% and RHB ended little changed.

The market is expected to trade sideways in the coming week as investors await fresh catalysts which include Malaysia's upcoming 2018 fiscal budget, said Pong Teng Siew, head of research at Inter-Pacific Securities in Kuala Lumpur. "It looks like it's going to be a very quiet week ahead," with funds seen holding back positioning ahead of the budget announcement expected in the final week of this month, said Pong. His forecast model indicates a "very narrow" 14-point upside and downside for the KLCI for the whole week.

Foreign outflows from Malaysia's stock market dwindled to 29 million ringgit ($6.8 million) this week through Thursday, after last week's outflow of nearly 1 billion ringgit.

Construction and property developer WCT Holdings advanced 2.3% on Friday after is subsidiary won a contract for completion of Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3) and other associated works for 640 million ringgit.

Gabungan AQRS climbed 6.4% after securing LRT3 contract worth 1.21 billion ringgit.
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