Singapore shares down for third straight session; STI loses 0.29%

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – A mixed showing on Wall Street overnight gave local investors few leads on Thursday and left the market marooned in the red.

The uncertain mood sent the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) down 0.29 per cent or 9.36 points to 3,186.40 with gainers and losers even at 230 on trade of 1.63 billion shares worth $1.18 billion.

Asian markets are very much in “watching from the side-lines mode” ahead of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s speech overnight, said Mr Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.

“The refusal to get tugged along by the two-way noise on Wall Street this week is very much evident, reflecting perhaps lingering concerns about US bond yields as American data continues to surprise across the board to the upside,” he added.

Asian markets were mostly up, with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei 225, which was down 0.07 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index led gains in the region, jumping 1.16 per cent. Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.19 per cent, the Kuala Lumpur Composite gained 0.11 per cent while the Jakarta bourse was up 0.58 per cent.

The best-performing counter on the STI was Venture Corp, which edged up 1.1 per cent to $20.71.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) and CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust (CICT) were the only two other counters on the blue-chip index that ended the day in the black. SGX gained 0.7 per cent to $10.03 while CICT was up 0.5 per cent to $2.21.

At the bottom of the table were property developers UOL Group and City Developments. UOL dipped 1.5 per cent to $7.79; City Developments ended 1.1 per cent lower at $8.15.

Singtel was the most heavily traded stock on the STI with 30.8 million shares changing hands. The stock was down 0.8 per cent to $2.44.

The telco announced on Thursday that its wholly-owned subsidiary Singtel Group Treasury had priced $1 billion of subordinated perpetual securities on April 7.

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