Feb 06, 2014

    5th straight day of loss for STI

    DESPITE a promising upswing in the first half of the trading day, the wind soon abandoned the local bourse as share prices fell for the fifth straight day.

    Investors yesterday continued fretting about lingering concerns over emerging market currencies, growth in the United States and China and the US Fed's bond-purchase tapering.

    The Straits Times Index slipped further below the 3,000-point psychological mark, falling 5.71 points or 0.19 per cent to 2,960.09. It has lost some 102 points or 3.3 per cent since Wednesday last week.

    Elsewhere in the region, markets were mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225, which has suffered a deep sell-off, rebounded by 1.2 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.2 per cent.

    The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dipped 0.6 per cent while Australia's ASX 200 fell 0.5 per cent.

    The gains in some Asian markets were led by a positive outing in Wall Street overnight, thanks to strong corporate earnings.

    More volatility awaits in the coming months on the back of the uncertainties over emerging markets, growth concerns over China and Fed tapering, said Mr Vasu Menon, OCBC Bank's vice-president of wealth management.

    But fundamentals are largely unchanged: The global economy is recovering, especially in the US, Japan and Europe, where fiscal and monetary policy is still pro-growth, he said.

    He advised investors: "Instead of panicking and selling out, investors with the risk appetite and holding power should consider capitalising on the volatility to accumulate gradually, especially developed-market equities."

    Turnover on the local bourse stood at 1.85 billion shares worth $1.09 billion, with losers outpacing gainers 211 to 159.

    Thai Beverage led the losses, falling 2.5 cents, or nearly 5 per cent, to 50.5 cents.

    CapitaMall Trust slipped 2.5 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $1.82. SIA Engineering dropped five cents, or 1 per cent, to $4.76.

    Mencast Holdings gained 1.5 cents, or 2.8 per cent, to 55.5 cents. The firm has acquired S&W and S&W Process Equipment - companies that manufacture and repair heat exchangers.

    OSK DMG Research views the purchase as a bargain and synergistic with Mencast's offshore engineering and energy divisions, and has maintained a buy rating on the counter.

    Looking ahead, traders will be waiting for markets in mainland China to reopen tomorrow after the Chinese New Year holiday and some crucial US jobless data on the same day.