Sluggish trade keeps STI in the red again
ANOTHER slow day of trade kept shares on the local bourse in negative territory for a second straight day.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) closed down 8.4 points or 0.3 per cent to 3,283.71.
Trading stayed thin, with 987.3 million shares worth $965.6 million changing hands.
A lack of liquidity has plagued the market this week, as investors stay sidelined in the absence of market-moving catalysts.
Remisier Desmond Leong said that trading has been quiet the whole week. "Markets have been quite sluggish, we can see that the average daily volume dropped from two to three billion earlier in the year to less than a billion now and generally there's a bit of profit-taking,'' he said.
Singapore stocks diverged from regional bourses, which have been making gains on the back of five straight sessions of record closes on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 barely stayed in the black on Tuesday, as they crept up by just over a point.
But it was enough as Tokyo rose 0.4 per cent, Seoul added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong put on 0.6 per cent and Shanghai jumped 1 per cent.
At home, Genting Singapore was the most active stock - 66.1 million shares were traded as it fell 2.5 cents to $1.015. It contributed to a 1.8 point fall on the STI after posting a 50 per cent plunge in net profit to $97.4 million. Brokerage CIMB has given the stock an add call, saying in a report that the outlook for the firm has turned positive.
"Overseas expansion is a potential re-rating catalyst while the opening of its hotel in the Jurong Lake District will lend downside protection to mass GGR (gross gaming revenue) next year," analysts Kenneth Ng and Jessalynn Chen wrote in a note.
Commodities firm Wilmar decreased four cents to $3.16, leading to a one point drop on the STI, after reporting that its third-quarter profit went up 1.5 per cent to US$422.4 million (S$544.8 million).
OCBC Investment Research analyst Carey Wong said in a note yesterday that while Wilmar's performance was muted compared with the previous year's, it saw a strong recovery compared with the previous quarter's. It raised the firm's fair value from $3.24 to $3.47, and kept its buy call on Wilmar.
Other blue chips that led declines yesterday were DBS Group Holdings, which lost 17 cents to $19.26 and caused a 3.4 point drop on the STI, and United Overseas Bank, which fell by 19 cents to $22.90, causing a 2.6 point STI fall.