Aug 31, 2016

    Singapore misses out on fillip from Wall St

    MOST Asian bourses bounced back into the black yesterday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street.

    But Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) was left out of the party, easing 1.04 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 2,828.39.

    "The market has been very lethargic lately, partly because corporate results are already all out," remisier Desmond Leong told The Straits Times.

    "It also seems there are no catalysts for the market to come alive, especially after the whole Swiber issue.

    "Everyone is waiting for some good news, but until that happens, there's not much to look forward to for now."

    He was referring to the dramatic fallout from the collapse of offshore marine services firm Swiber Holdings, now under judicial management, which has shaken the oil and gas and banking sectors.

    Hong Kong led the region-wide rally with a 0.85 per cent rise, taking its cue from Wall Street's 0.58 per cent increase on Monday, on the back of data showing higher United States consumer spending for a fourth straight month in July.

    Shanghai put on 0.15 per cent and Seoul grew 0.36 per cent. Tokyo dipped 0.07 per cent after reports showed retail sales and household spending fell in Japan.

    All eyes continue to be set on US non-farm payrolls, to be out later this week, which will likely play a key role in guiding the Fed's decision on the next rate hike.

    At home, the biggest laggards included casino operator Genting Singapore, which slid one cent or 1.4 per cent to 72.5 cents, and Singapore Airlines, down nine cents or 0.8 per cent to $10.56.

    The local banks were a mixed bag, with DBS Group Holdings as the only gainer, up two cents or 0.1 per cent to $15.05. United Overseas Bank pared two cents or 0.1 per cent to $17.98.

    OCBC Bank shed one cent or 0.1 per cent to $8.57.

    Commodity trader Noble Group was again the day's top active, with 146.7 million shares traded.

    The stock slipped 0.1 cent or 0.8 per cent to 12.3 cents.

    Total turnover across the bourse came up to 1.03 billion shares worth $678.1 million.