STI bucks regional trend and falls, Latest Business News - The New Paper

STI bucks regional trend and falls

This article is more than 12 months old

Financials weigh on index's performance, but advancers outpace decliners 188 to 177

Regional markets drummed positively to their own beat in a session that lacked market catalysts yesterday.

But the local market went the other way, closing lower, weighed down by financials.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) closed at 3,165.32, down 5.45 points or 0.2 per cent. Elsewhere in Asia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea closed higher.

"Against the backdrop of a lack of reaction towards US President Donald Trump's words (on not being ready to make a trade deal with China) and the vacuum of leads, the local STI had largely waffled along," IG market strategist Pan Jingyi noted.

"It had also been a mixed bag between sectors with no clear indication of changes in risk sentiment despite Mr Trump's seeming threat of the potential for more tariffs on Chinese imports to come along."

In Singapore, trading volume clocked in at 929.37 million securities or 73 per cent of the daily average in the first four months of the year. Total turnover came to $1.74 billion, 70 per cent above the January-to-April daily average.

Singapore Exchange (SGX) market strategist Geoff Howie said the impact of the rebalancing of the MSCI Singapore Index accounted for much of the surge in turnover and trade value toward the end of the session.

Across the market, advancers outpaced decliners 188 to 177. The benchmark index had 12 of the STI's 30 components trading in the red.

Financials weighed on the STI's performance yesterday.

DBS Group Holdings closed 10 cents or 0.4 per cent lower at $24.96, OCBC Bank dropped five cents or 0.5 per cent to $10.94 while United Overseas Bank (UOB) pared gains from recent sessions to end at $24.31, down 39 cents or 1.6 per cent.

UOB's shares dipped as trading volume surged before the market closed, because of the rebalancing of the MSCI Singapore Index.


Meanwhile, shares in bourse operator SGX shed 20 cents or 2.6 per cent to close at $7.42.

US-listed Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is said to be considering a second listing in Hong Kong to raise US$20 billion (S$27.5 billion) from investors.

"The news is a likely reason for SGX shares being sold on Tuesday as investors may feel that Alibaba's presence will entice future tech companies to list in Hong Kong," UOB Kay Hian's vice-president of equities and financial products Brandon Leu suggested.

Genting Singapore was the benchmark index's most traded stock, gaining one cent or 1.1 per cent to close at 89 cents with 27.2 million shares changing hands.

Traders noted the casino operator was oversold by investors since posting Q1 earnings on May 9.

That said, yesterday's share performance may have been supported by Asian markets rebounding and more awareness of the company confirming last Thursday its bid to develop Japan's integrated resort in Osaka.

Singapore-listed telcos saw their shares close in negative territory.

Singtel slid to finish two cents lower at $3.15 and StarHub also retreated two cents to end at $1.49.

On Monday, fellow mobile network operator M1, which was recently taken private, revealed it will replace its existing 19 mobile plans with one base plan each for SIM-only and handset bundles from yesterday.

M1's majority shareholder, Keppel Corp, closed six cents or one per cent higher at $6.16.

The usually thinly traded Sin Ghee Huat saw heavier than usual activity, thanks to married trades involving 9.85 million shares or 4.5 per cent of its outstanding share base at 23 cents.

The stainless steel product distributor closed 0.5 cent or 2.3 per cent down at 21.5 cents.

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