Jan 06, 2016

    Trading volatile over China concerns

    SINGAPORE shares remained on edge yesterday as the market continued to be weighed down by volatility across the region, particularly in China.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) closed a choppy session down 1.74 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 2,834.23.

    Most other markets in the region were similarly subdued following China's dreadful start to the year with Shanghai plunging 6.9 per cent on Monday on renewed fears over the country's slowing growth.

    It was down a further 0.3 per cent yesterday while Shenzhen fell 1.9 per cent.

    This came despite Chinese regulators trying to shore up investor confidence. The central bank injected 130 billion yuan (S$28.4 billion) into domestic markets while the securities regulator suggested it might restrict share sales by major investors.

    Elsewhere, Hong Kong retreated 0.7 per cent, while Tokyo pared 0.4 per cent.

    Wall Street slid 1.6 per cent overnight, as traders returned to the financial markets rattled by the global sell-off.

    Analysts said key economic reports to be released this week will likely take centrestage, including data on factory activity, the monthly United States jobs report and minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting that culminated in the first rate increase since 2006.

    Singtel contributed to the STI's weak performance yesterday. The telco shed one cent or 0.3 per cent to $3.58, losing ground for the fifth straight session. Global Logistic Properties was also one of the biggest losers, sinking six cents or 2.9 per cent to $2.03.

    Two of the local banks continued on a downward trajectory, with DBS Group Holdings shedding four cents or 0.2 per cent to $16.24 and United Overseas Bank losing nine cents or 0.5 per cent to $19 but OCBC inched up one cent or 0.1 per cent to $8.65.

    Palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources was among the few making notable gains, jumping two cents or 6.2 per cent to 34.5 cents.

    Tigerair jumped four cents or 9.8 per cent to 45 cents after Singapore Airlines lifted its buyout offer for the budget carrier from 41 cents a share to 45 cents and extended further the deadline for acceptances.

    But some minority shareholders remain unhappy on concerns that the offer still undervalues what long-term shareholders have paid, noted Singapore Investors Association Singapore president David Gerald.

    Trade across the exchange amounted to 1.24 billion shares worth $894.9 million.