singapores sti plunges again down nearly 4 5 per cent for the week 954672015

The sharp fall in Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) was a highlight of the day’s trading

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Singapore's stock market plunged sharply lower on the last day of the week, taking the year-to-date loss on the benchmark Straits Times Index to nearly 5 per cent. The index dropped to its worst levels since October 20 2014. Losses on the STI were led by a massive 12.5 per cent crash in Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) on extremely high volumes.

Indices and sectors

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 47.02 points or 1.45 per cent lower to 3,202.5, taking the year-to-date performance to -4.83 per cent.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.37 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined 0.40 per cent.

The Singapore Exchange traded a volume of 1,867.6 million shares valued at SG$2,170.5 million. Losers outnumbered gainers by 323/135.

Amongst the FTSE ST sectors, the only gainers were healthcare (+1.50 per cent), maritime (+0.54 per cent) and consumer goods (+0.22 per cent). Losing sectors included oil and gas (-3.57 per cent), technology (-2.24 per cent), basic materials (-2.13 per cent), real estate holding and development (-2.00 per cent) and CataList index (-1.99 per cent).


Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) crashed by 12.50 per cent to SG$0.455 in heavy selling that led the stock down below the SG$0.50 level to its lowest point in seven years. According to the Business Times, there was speculation that the company, the largest commodities trader in Asia could be dropped from the Straits Times Index when the index is reviewed in September. The counter traded a massive volume of over 302 million shares.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Limited (SGX:O39) was up 0.19 per cent to SG$10.29. Singapore’s second-largest bank said Friday that second-quarter net profit rose 14 per cent to SG$1.05 billion, up from SG$921 million the prior year quarter, on the back of higher interest income and contributions from Greater China and Indonesia territories. Net interest income jumped 14 per cent to SG$1.28 billion, while non-interest income grew 10 per cent to SG$939 million. Fee and commission income jumped 24 per cent to a record SG$438 million owing to robust wealth management, brokerage and loan related fee income. However, net trading income fell to SG$70 million from SG$133 million in the prior year period.

United Overseas Bank Ltd (SGX:U11) was down 3.18 per cent to SG$22.20. Singapore’s third biggest lender said Friday that net profit during the second quarter fell 5.7 per cent to SG$762 million compared to the prior year quarter, on the back of a decline in treasury and investment income. The bank declared an interim cash dividend of SG$0.35 per ordinary share, according to Channel News Asia.

Flexible packaging company Green Build Technology Ltd (SGX:Y06) warned that it is likely to report a net loss for the first half of 2015 due to nil revenues from its green technology segment and the seasonal weakness in the packaging business.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd (SGX:C07) said net profit during the second quarter slumped by 15 per cent to US$183.7 million (SG$252.5 million) while revenue was down 13 per cent to US$4.2 billion. Earnings per share fell to 50.2 US cents from 88.76 US cents in the prior year quarter. Soft commodity prices and a weak Indonesian rupiah were the cause of the downbeat quarterly results, according to the company.

Global Logistic Properties Ltd (SGX:MC0) fell 8 per cent to SG$2.30. The company said Friday that net profit during the first quarter ended June 30 rose 49 per cent to US$268 million on the back of higher asset values, development gains and expansion in the activities of its fund management platform, as reported by Channel News Asia.

Economic news

Spurred by higher lending to the building and construction sector, total bank lending touched a five-month high in June, with loans to both consumers and businesses reporting at SG$606.8 billion, up 1.6 per cent from May, according to AsiaOne, which cited the Monetary Authority of Singapore. For the first half of the year, bank loans have averaged 2 per cent year-on-year growth, according to OCBC economist Selena Ling.

A survey by the Economic Development Board said Friday that 70 per cent of manufacturing companies expected the business environment during the second half of 2015 to remain unchanged from a quarter ago, while 16 per cent thought conditions would improve. Only 14 per cent expected business conditions to deteriorate, according to Channel News Asia.

Another survey, this time from the Department of Statistics and covering the services sector, found that 68 per cent of firms expected business conditions to remain about the same during the second half, 17 per cent thought business prospects would improve and 15 per cent were pessimistic, according to Channel News Asia.

The Athens stock exchange will open on Monday, August 3, after a five-week suspension, and all eyes will be trained on the country’s banks which are thought to be exceptionally vulnerable given that billions of euros of deposits had fled during the volatility of the past six months, as reported by Channel News Asia.

On Wall Street, on Friday, weakness in crude oil linked equities weighed on US stocks following poor earnings from ExxonMobil and Chevron and a drop in oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.52 points (0.31 per cent) to 17,690.46. The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 4.71 (0.22 per cent) to 2,103.92, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.50 (0.01 per cent) to 5,128.28.

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