Jun 05, 2015

    S'pore bourse dips as US jobs report looms

    INVESTORS closed out positions yesterday, following a sell-off in Europe and ahead of the release of United States non-farm payrolls for May tonight.

    The move left the benchmark Straits Times Index down 4.84 points to 3,345, with 1.64 billion shares worth $1.48 billion traded.

    Telco Singtel, which has fallen 7.9 per cent since its year-high of $4.53 on April 15, continued to be the focus of bargain hunters.

    Yesterday, the stock gained 2.5 per cent or 10 cents to $4.17, with 54.9 million shares traded.

    Banking counters DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank rebounded for a second day.

    DBS gained 1.3 per cent or 27 cents to $20.38, while UOB rose 0.4 per cent or eight cents to $22.80.

    Maybank Kim Eng analyst Ng Wee Siang said on Wednesday that upcoming tighter liquidity rules for STI constituents mean "any rejig of the STI may benefit larger constituents such as the banks and Singtel, whose combined weighting is 43.1 per cent".

    Under the new rules announced last week, companies already on the STI must trade at least 0.08 per cent of their issued shares, up from 0.04 per cent, in eight of the 12 months leading up to an annual review.

    Market players have said the new rule may put stocks with typically low turnover, such as Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic, at risk of being removed from the STI.

    Mr Ng added that Olam International could also go.

    "In their places, we believe UOL, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Suntec Reit and SingPost could be considered for inclusion," he said.

    Healthcare firm Singapore O&G made a robust debut on the Catalist board, closing at 63.5 cents, up 38.5 cents or 154 per cent, with 88.9 million shares traded.

    The company launched its initial public offering last week at 25 cents per share.

    The group plans to use the net proceeds of about $9.2 million for working capital, hiring and acquisitions.

    Commodities giant Noble is still stuck in its downward spiral, shedding 3.5 per cent or 2.5 cents to 69.5 cents, with 66.6 million shares traded.

    "Once the stock price broke the 81 cents or 82 cents psychological support, a lot of stop losses got triggered, which brought out sellers," CMC Markets analyst Nicholas Teo said.

    Meanwhile, the Singapore Exchange announced on Wednesday that last month's securities turnover was $23 billion, down 2 per cent year on year, while daily average volume traded was at $1.1 billion, also down 2 per cent.

    SGX looks like a "rudderless ship without a captain", Mr Teo said in a note yesterday.

    SGX announced in February that chief executive Magnus Bocker will leave this month, ending his five-year tenure.

    The company has yet to announce his successor.

    "Indeed, without a successor being announced soon, this lackadaisical mood may continue for a while, as most search for a direction with regard to the business of equity trading in Singapore," Mr Teo said.