Daily Morning Note – 5 April 2019


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The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.64% rose 166.50 points, or 0.6%, to 26,384.63, powered higher by shares of Boeing Inc. BA, +2.89% and Dow Inc. DOW, +4.98% . The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.21% added 5.99 points, or 0.2%, to 2,879.39, matching its six-day winning streak from February 2018. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.05% bucked the trend to fall 3.77 points to 7,891.78. U.S.-China trade negotiations remain in the spotlight. Expectations for Washington and Beijing to resolve their differences have been cited as a driver of stock-market gains since late last year. President Donald Trump may announce plans for a summit with China’s President Xi Jinping as early as Thursday when he meets the country’s vice premier.


Brent oil briefly touches US$70/barrel on tight supply. Brent oil prices rose on Thursday, briefly touching US$70 a barrel for the first time since November as expectations of tight global supply outweighed pressure from rising US production and less robust global demand indicators. International benchmark Brent futures settled up 9 cents at US$69.40. Brent touched a session high of US$70.03, the highest since Nov 12 when it last traded above US$70. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 36 cents a barrel to settle at US$62.10. The contract hit US$62.99 on Wednesday, its highest since November.

HDB resale volume jumps 26.1% in March, prices inch up 0.2%: SRX. The volume of Housing Board (HDB) resale flats grew by 26.1 per cent in March, marking the highest jump in eight months since August last year. There were 1,657 HDB resale transactions in March, up from the 1,314 units sold in the previous month, according to according to flash estimates from real estate portal SRX Property on Thursday. However, resale volume in March was 12.7 per cent lower than the 1,897 units transacted in the same month last year.

Nomura axes 8 of 9 equity research jobs in Singapore in US$1b plan to cut costs. Nomura Holdings unveiled plans to cut US$1 billion of costs at its struggling investment bank, firing dozens and pulling back from businesses as it embarks on yet another sweeping overhaul of its international operations. Japan’s largest securities firm will cull about 150 jobs across the Americas and Europe, the Middle East and Africa on top of reductions in Hong Kong and Singapore as part of the overhaul, people with knowledge of the matter said. Eight out of nine employees in the Singapore equity research operation have been let go, the people said. Nomura also cut at least 10 jobs at its equities business in Hong Kong, one of the people said.

Lian Beng given 1-year extension to sell properties that may compete with subsidiary. Catalist property player SLB Development has obtained regulatory approval for its controlling shareholder Lian Beng Group to be given a one-year extension to dispose of competing business in Australia and Singapore. SLB, in a regulatory filing on Thursday, announced that unfavourable property market conditions Down Under and in the city-state have resulted in its parent company Lian Beng not being able to divest competing business by April this year. The deadline was a year from SLB’s Catalist debut in April 2018.

Frasers Property in talks to potentially sell Frasers Tower. Frasers Property said on Thursday that it “has been in discussions with certain parties who have expressed interest” in its Frasers Tower office property, located at 182 Cecil Street. It said that there is no certainty that any transaction would result from such discussions, according to a bourse filing in response to Bloomberg queries. Frasers Property also added that it continually reviews opportunities to enhance shareholder value. This includes potential opportunities to collaborate with new investors, as well as divesting its interests in projects or assets.

Distressed Hyflux says Salim-Medco rescue is off; but investor ‘surprised’ by news. Cash-strapped Hyflux said on Thursday that a key rescue deal from the Salim-Medco investment group is officially off with just weeks to go before the water and power plant company loses court protection from creditors. Hyflux has cancelled scheme meetings scheduled for April 5 and 8. There is also no need for shareholders to attend an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for April 15, the company said.

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

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