Stocks down on lack of leads
THE Singapore market flagged yesterday, nearing the end of a lacklustre week where the market has see-sawed between gains and losses, with little impetus.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) shed 11.24 points to close at 3,330.22, in line with the generally muted sentiment across Asian markets.
Japan's Nikkei fell 0.48 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.71 per cent and Shanghai also finished in the red, to the tune of 0.62 per cent. Taiwan's Taiex fell 0.08 per cent.
Remisier Desmond Leong said the overall market was weaker and lacked clear direction.
The total volume traded came in at 1.5 billion shares worth $1 billion. There were 226 stocks that lost ground yesterday compared with 178 gainers.
Despite the directionless week, the STI is still up some 5 per cent for the year so far and is just a shade lower than the year's high seen only a few weeks ago.
Among the STI component stocks, Thai Beverage was up 2.2 per cent to 68.5 cents. Its controlling shareholder Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is reportedly in talks with OCBC, Great Eastern and the bank's Lee family on buying their stakes in United Engineers.
SIA Engineering was up four cents or 0.88 per cent to $4.57. SingTel gained one cent or 0.26 per cent to close at $3.91.
Among the decliners, Hongkong Land shed 2.99 per cent or 21 US cents to US$6.82. City Developments fell 2 per cent or 21 cents to $10.08 while OCBC Bank was down 1 per cent or 10 cents to $9.91.
Among the active stocks, property firm GSH closed 0.2 cent higher at eight cents on a volume of 94 million shares.
The second-most active counter was Chinese property firm Weiye, which also saw a 0.2 cent gain to 5 cents with 69 million shares traded.
Another active stick was chip testing and assembly player Stats ChipPac, which said that several companies have approached it to buy it, including China's Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology and Tianshui Huatian Technology. Its shares were unchanged on 66 cents with a volume of 55.7 million shares.
Other stocks in the spotlight included Osim International with its convertible bond issue. Investors remained lukewarm, with the shares dropping a further 7 cents to close at $2.67.
Shares of tourism player Straco, which has taken over the Singapore Flyer, did not trade yesterday. Investors will be on the alert to see if the price goes up when it resumes trading today. The shares have risen 86 per cent this year.