Large caps take toll on S'pore bourse
WEAKNESS set in again in the Singapore market yesterday after a respite the day before proved brief.
The Straits Times Index finished 0.5 per cent lower, falling 13.29 points to 2,873 as a rate cut in China failed to prevent another slide in the Shanghai market, The Business Times reported.
The local blue-chip index was dragged down by a mix of large caps including DBS Bank, Singtel and Keppel Corp.
About 2.33 billion shares worth $1.54 billion in total changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of $0.66 per share.
The most actively traded stock was micro-penny New Silkroutes, which halved in value to 0.1 cent with 672.6 million shares changing hands.
Other actives included Ezra Holdings and Silverlake Axis.
Losers outnumbered gainers 268 to 225, or about six down for every five up.
Meanwhile, most South-east Asian stock indexes gained yesterday, as domestic investors sought bargains among battered shares but foreign investors remained wary over instability in Chinese and global markets, Reuters reported.
Vietnam was an outperformer with its key index posting the biggest jump in 15 months, after the government said it would maintain the country's economic growth target and keep the dollar/dong rate stable until year-end.
Malaysia's index climbed for a second day to the highest close since Aug 19.
However, foreign investors sold shares for a third day this week, offloading shares worth a net RM301 million (S$99 million), stock exchange data showed.
China's benchmark stock index fell 1.27 per cent to 2,927.29 points, after veering wildly between losses and gains of around four per cent during the day, Agence France-Presse reported.
Other Asian shares were mixed, with Tokyo rising 3.2 per cent, Seoul closing up 2.57 per cent and Sydney adding 0.69 per cent, while Hong Kong followed Shanghai down to close 1.52 per cent lower.
Chinese stocks have lost more than 40 per cent of their value since a year-long, debt-fuelled rally collapsed in June, prompting Beijing to unleash unprecedented market support measures.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, better known as Sinopec, Asia's biggest oil refiner, posted a 22 per cent decline in profit for the first half of the year as the slump in prices outweighed the benefit of cheaper crude to its refining business, reported Bloomberg.
Brent, benchmark for half the world's crude, averaged about US$59 (S$83) a barrel in the first half of the year, down 45 per cent from the same period last year.