Sep 01, 2016

    Poor showing as local stocks slide for 3rd day

    SINGAPORE equities kept sliding downhill for the third straight day on a lack of positive cues.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) shed 7.8 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 2,820.59.

    Turnover across the bourse was a lacklustre 876.8 million units worth $925.2 million.

    "The market has been rather quiet.

    " In fact, it has not been moving much for

    six months already," said Margaret Yang,

    market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore,

    noting that liquidity is a bigger issue here than

    in other markets in the region.

    The downbeat sentiment mirrored that of

    Wall Street, which lost 0.26 per cent overnight as the United States dollar rose on rate hike worries.

    Among the blue chips, Singtel was a big drag

    on the STI, dropping eight cents or 2 per cent

    to $4.02 as profit-takers made their move.

    Airpost services firm Sats lost ground for

    the third straight day, sliding 15 cents

    or 3.1 per cent to $4.71.

    Much of the focus was also on oil and gas-related plays, which fared poorly as crude prices stayed under pressure amid a rising US dollar.

    Rig builder Sembcorp Marine fell two cents or 1.5 per cent to $1.275. Keppel Corporation

    slipped five cents or 1 per cent to $5.18.

    Smaller counters such as Ezion Holdings also took a hit, slumping 1.5 cents or 6.4 per cent to

    22 cents. The oilfield services company on Monday said it had adjusted its second-quarter earnings lower by US$11.7 million (S$16 million), after an associate company made additional impairment.

    Other notable movements included China-based food and beverage maker Sino Grandness Food Industry Group, which tumbled three cents

    or 5.8 per cent to 48.5 cents after a substantial shareholder, Soleado Holdings, sold 1.7 million shares in the firm at 0.525526 cent each.

    Commodity trader Noble Group was the day's most active, sliding 0.4 cent or 3.3 per cent

    to 11.9 cents on 113.5 million shares done.

    The combined market capitalisation on the

    STI for August was $859.95 billion, down

    0.06 per cent from $860.43 billion in July.

    Elsewhere, most markets in Asia were little changed. Shanghai climbed 0.35 per cent

    while Hong Kong dipped 0.17 per cent.

    Tokyo, notably, rose 0.97 per cent, boosted by a weaker yen on growing bets for higher US interest rates.

    "The market will focus on Friday's job number and think about the interest rate outlook," Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel Corporation in Charlottesville, Virginia, told Bloomberg, referring to the US non-farm payroll data that will be released tomorrow US time.

    "A good, strong jobs number, as we've had the last few months, probably gives the Fed room to move, which I think they really want to do."