Daily Morning Note – 30 June 2021


The S&P 500 index hit a record high shortly after the open on Tuesday, lifted by big US banks, while investors looked to consumer confidence data against the backdrop of rising inflation and a spike in Covid-19 cases in Asia.

The S&P 500 gained 8.65 points, or 0.20 per cent, to record high of 4,299.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 166.06 points, or 0.48 per cent , to 34,449.33, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 5.31 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 14,495.20.


SG News

UOB has lost a long-running legal tussle against developer Lippo Marina Collection (LMC), with the Singapore High Court throwing out the bank’s claims that Lippo had inflated mortgages to get higher housing loans. The bank said it will be appealing the court’s decision. It is seeking to recover about S$181 million disbursed to purchase 38 units at Marina Collection, a luxury condo at the wealthy enclave at Sentosa Cove. UOB is represented by lawyers from Tan Kok Quan Partnership.

Singapore has inked a deal with drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline Singapore and clinical-stage immunology firm Vir Biotechnology for the supply of a medication for patients with mild to moderate Covid-19. The advance purchase agreement is for the supply of sotrovimab, an investigational single-dose monoclonal antibody administered through intravenous infusion, GSK Singapore said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sembcorp Marine (Sembmarine) on Tuesday said it is partnering grid operator SP Group to install an additional 4.0 megawatt-peak (MWp) of solar energy across seven rooftops at its Tuas Boulevard Yard. The new solar panels, together with existing solar panels that were installed in 2018, will supply nearly 60 per cent of power for the yard’s steel fabrication facility during peak production periods, both companies said in a press statement.

Ecowise Holdings chief executive Lee Thiam Seng has said that he welcomes the SGX RegCo’s compliance notice served to the Catalist-listed company last Friday, and will extend his fullest support to the company auditor and continuing sponsor to comply with the requirements. In a statement released on Tuesday, Mr Lee said the compliance notice validates his concerns over the company’s internal controls and the release of its H1 2021 results despite his reservations as to their accuracy.

Suntec Reit is divesting a portfolio of strata units at Suntec City Office for S$197 million and acquiring a Grade-A office building in London for £353 million (S$667.2 million), the Reit manager ARA Trust Management (Suntec) said on Tuesday. The Suntec City Office units are being divested at an 8.9 per cent premium over the independent valuation of S$180.9 million for the 78,491 square feet of space, with a net gain on divestment of S$13.9 million. The net property income yield was 3.1 per cent.

US News

The troubled US newspaper sector cut thousands more jobs as circulation losses extended in a pandemic year, but saw some positive signs with growth in digital readers, a Pew Research Centre report showed Tuesday. As part of its annual assessment of the media, Pew researchers found losses of some 12 per cent of newsroom jobs, or some 4,000 reporters, editors or photographers in 2020, to bring total employment to 30,820 at the end of the year.

Wall Street stocks edged higher on Tuesday, adding to recent records, as US consumer confidence continued to improve while investors grapple with the latest coronavirus worries. US consumer confidence surged in June to its highest point since the start of the pandemic, propelled by the improved outlook on jobs and business conditions, according to The Conference Board. “Low virus transmission, vaccinations, and expanded reopenings made consumers much more confident,” Oren Klachkin of Oxford Economics said in an analysis. “Consumers are coming out of their shell.”

US consumer confidence soared in June to a fresh pandemic high as Americans became more upbeat about the economy and job market. The Conference Board’s index increased to 127.3 from an upwardly revised 120 reading in May, according to a report Tuesday. The June figure exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Consumers also expected inflation to pick up in the coming year.

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine showed promise against the Delta variant first identified in India in a lab study, with a modest decrease in response compared to the original strain, the drugmaker said on Tuesday. The study was conducted on blood serum from eight participants obtained one week after they received the second dose of the vaccine, mRNA-1273.

Oil prices steadied on Tuesday as broad hopes for a demand recovery persisted, fueled by comments from Opec’s secretary general, slightly overshadowing travel curbs due to new outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. Brent crude futures settled up 8 cents, or 0.1 per cent, at US$74.76 a barrel, having slumped by 2 per cent on Monday. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled up 7 cents, or 0.1 per cent, at US$72.98 a barrel, after a 1.5 per cent retreat on Monday.

Source: SGX Masnet, The Business Times, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, CNBC,PSR


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