SINGAPORE (May 18): The Straits Times Index gained this morning on surprising positive news that exports for April grew instead of contracted as economists had widely predicted, although, to be sure, the export numbers were very narrowly driven by a surge in pharmaceuticals. From last Friday’s close of 2523.55 points, the STI hit as high as 2546.36 points before easing slightly.
The better-than-expected showing of the export figures is offset by a slew of brokers’ downgrades on actively traded stocks, as they reported lower earnings and offer bleak prospects. ComfortDelGro is an exception. The land transport giant gained on a favourable “buy” call from Maybank Kim Eng.