Sep 02, 2014

    S'pore stocks down on Ukraine woes

    LOCAL shares took a hit yesterday over escalating tensions in the Ukraine and fears that stronger sanctions by the European Union against Moscow could hurt the fledgling global recovery.

    The key benchmark Straits Times Index fell 12.96 points to 3,314.13, with 1.9 billion shares worth $752.8 million changing hands.

    Bearish China data also weighed on Singapore shares. New figures showed growth in China's manufacturing sector slowed last month for the first time in six months, after having hit its highest level in more than two years.

    "Investors are reshuffling their portfolios today, taking profit on blue chips, shifting money to undervalued counters or just sitting on cash for now," said remisier Alvin Yong.

    Among the top five volume stocks was Stats ChipPAC, which fell 7.3 per cent or 5.5 cents to 69.5 cents, on trade of 42.1 million shares. This came after the chip testing and assembly player announced yesterday that Shenzhen-listed Tianshui Huatian Technology has decided to terminate its approach to buy the company.

    Penny plays ruled the roost, with MDR down 14.3 per cent or 0.1 cent to 0.6 cent, with 50.4 million shares changing hands. Apac Strategic dipped 1.7 per cent or 0.1 cent to 5.7 cents with 56.9 million shares changing hands, while Fuji Offset plunged nearly 48 per cent or 23 cents to 25 cents.

    LionGold shed 9.2 per cent or 0.6 cent to 5.9 cents, with 30.7 million shares changing hands, while Blumont Group lost 5 per cent or 0.2 cent to 3.8 cents. About 65.2 million shares were done.

    Blumont reported a total loss of $19.33 million for the six months ended June 30. It said the losses primarily arose from the fair value readjustments of its investments in transferable securities, which Blumont considers is attributable to the recent volatility in financial markets and the global economy.

    Meanwhile, OCBC Bank dipped 1.6 per cent or 16 cents to $9.84 yesterday. Mr Yong said the bank went ex-rights and ex-dividend on Aug 25, which means investors who bought shares after that date are not entitled to participate in OCBC's one-for-eight rights issue, or the 18-cents-a-share dividend payable Oct 16.

    Jardine Cycle & Carriage was among the top five laggards, shedding 1.22 per cent or 55 cents to $44.51.