singapore shares plunge over 1 per cent on currency markets volatility 87662015

Following the bullish close on Wall Street Friday, Singapore stocks may be expected to open with gains today

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI) ended Friday 38.16 points lower or -1.14 per cent to 3,300.68, taking the year-to-date performance to -1.92 per cent. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined -0.37 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined -0.42 per cent.

This was the biggest single day session trading loss in nearly two weeks and attributable to the volatility in the foreign exchange market following the shock decision by the Swiss National Bank to scrap its three-year-old 1.20 francs per euro currency cap. The currency chaos led to a rise in the Singapore dollar, and therefore a negative perception of stocks.

Amongst the FTSE ST sectors, the biggest losers were consumer goods (-2.46 per cent), maritime (-2.06 per cent), utilities (-1.6 per cent) and oil and gas (-1.32 per cent). The basic materials sector was the only significant gainer at 3.09 per cent.

In basic materials, Midas Holdings Ltd (SGX:5EN) soared 6.78 per cent to SG$0.315, while Geo Energy Resources Ltd (SGX:RE4) dropped 2.38 per cent to SG$0.205. In consumer goods, Thai Beverage Public Company Ltd (SGX:Y92) declined 5.48 per cent to SG$0.690, while Dukang Distillers Holdings Ltd (SGX:GJ8) leapt 22.5 per cent to SG$0.152.

The SGX has advised investors to trade with caution in the stocks of Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd (SGX:H78) and its indirect shareholder Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd (SGX:J36) following the sharp rise in the prices of the two stocks by 5.42 per cent and 10.7 per cent respectively early Friday morning, reports the Straits Times. Both companies said Friday that they could not explain the trading in their companies’ stocks.

The SGX also queried the nearly 26.3 per cent rise, accompanied with high volume, in the shares of industrial waste gas treatment solutions provider China Environment Ltd (SGX:5OU) reported The Business Times.

Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd (SGX:40S) said Friday that it was evaluating the syndication of a consortium of investors to acquire AXA Tower following a media report that the price of the building was about SG$1.18 billion. According to the report in the Straits Times, Perennial would likely acquire a 30 per cent stake in the property and also assume the role of asset manager.

Centurion Corp Ltd (SGX:OU8) said it was considering spinning off some of its worker accommodation assets into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that would ultimately be listed on the SGX if the plan was found to be feasible.

According to AsiaOne, Cambridge Industrial Trust (SGX:J91U) said it expected more technology companies to take up space this year at its industrial properties. "The technology sector has been pretty vibrant, and we've had a lot of leasing inquiries in that respect," noted Ms Nancy Tan, head of real estate at CIT Management, which manages the REIT.

Keppel Land Ltd (SGX:K17) is planning a residential development in Jakarta that will comprise over 4,000 apartments. According to The Edge Markets, Keppel Land will pay about SG$40.2 million for a 4.6-ha site for the project in the growth corridor in West Jakarta, about a 15-minute drive from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Singapore signed double taxation avoidance (DTA) agreements with France and Uruguay last week, according to the Straits Times. Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Mr Michel Sapin, the French Minister of Finance and Public Accounts signed the French DTA at Singapore and expressed confidence that it would further enhance trade and investment flows, and further build on economic relations between the two countries.

Following the bullish close on Wall Street Friday, Singapore stocks are expected to open with gains today.

Find up to date information on the Straits Times Index at City Index.

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