STI slips as oil prices slide to 4-year low
IT MAY have been Thanksgiving in the United States yesterday, but the local stock market certainly wasn't feeling any cheer.
The benchmark Straits Times Index slipped 0.3 per cent or 8.7 points to 3,340.96, as oil prices slid to a four-year low ahead of an oil producers' cartel meeting in Vienna, Austria.
Falling oil prices generally hurt energy companies, which make up a significant part of the local market.
Markets were mixed across the rest of Asia. Falling oil prices also weighed down Hong Kong by 0.5 per cent, while Tokyo tumbled 0.8 per cent due to the yen strengthening slightly.
However, Shanghai jumped 1 per cent to close at its highest point since August 2011 as traders hope for more monetary easing from China's central bank to boost the economy. The central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates for deposits and lending last week.
All eyes are on the outcome of the meeting of the 12-member Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which pumps about 40 per cent of the world's oil.
Opec met in Vienna, where its headquarters are, yesterday night to discuss whether it would reduce its official production target of 30 million barrels a day.
Oil prices have fallen by about a third since June, partly because increasing shale gas production in the US has contributed to an oversupply of fuel.
In Singapore, offshore and marine company Ezion Holdings fell six cents or 4.1 per cent to $1.40 yesterday.
Rigbuilders Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Marine have continued to languish near their 52-week lows.
Keppel shed four cents or 0.4 per cent to $9.20 yesterday, not far from its 52-week low of $9.13 that it fell to earlier this month. Sembcorp Marine remained flat at $3.31 yesterday, which was its lowest price since October 2011.
Among the most active counters, e-commerce company YuuZoo dropped 8.5 cents or 14.3 per cent to 51 cents yesterday with 30.2 million shares changing hands. It said the day before that it had inked a partnership deal with Nigerian telecommunications company Etisalat and has opened an office in Lagos, Nigeria.
Catalist-listed security solutions firm IPS Securex jumped five cents or 7.3 per cent to 73.5 cents. DMG Research had said in a note yesterday morning that as political instability grows around the region, governments may buy more products from the firm.