singapores straits times index headed for a 10 per cent loss year to date 1079382015

The SGX is down for the third straight day

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Singapore stocks ended marginally lower Wednesday, pressured by a weak opening in Chinese stock markets and the lacklustre overnight closing on Wall Street. As oil prices continue to scrape multi-year lows, the outlook further dimmed for Singapore’s maritime sector, which plunged nearly 5 per cent, and oil and gas, down 1.19 per cent. Concerns regarding the slowdown in the Chinese economy also weighed on investors’ sentiment. Wednesday’s session was the third consecutive daily loss for the Straits Times Index.

Indices and sectors

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 8.4 points or 0.28 per cent lower at 3,041.25, taking the year-to-date performance to -9.63 per cent.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 1.12 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined 1.30 per cent.

The Singapore Exchange traded a volume of 1,514.2 million shares valued at SG$1,171.6 million. Losers outnumbered gainers by 325/137.

Amongst the FTSE ST sectors, the big losers included maritime (-4.76 per cent), basic materials (-1.31 per cent), small cap (-1.30 per cent), oil and gas (-1.19 per cent), technology (-1.06 per cent) and real estate investment trusts (-0.92 per cent). The only gaining sectors were healthcare (+0.07 per cent) and consumer services (+0.07 per cent).


Singapore’s Park Hotel group has agreed to take over the management of an upcoming hotel in Adelaide, according to the Straits Times. The AU$175 million (SG$180 million) project is owned by Singaporean real estate developer, LGB Corp, and will be called the Park Hotel Adelaide. Construction of the building will start in 2017 and is expected to be completed by late 2018. It will comprise 280 private residences, the guestrooms and suites, a restaurant, pool and other facilities.

Thakral Corporation Ltd. (SGX:AWI) has tied up with investment management group Aberdeen Asset Management Asia for investing in Australian real estate projects, particularly those on the East Coast and in the central business districts and developed suburbs of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Ship and offshore vessels builder Vard Holdings Ltd (SGX:MS7) plunged 10.67 per cent to close at SG$0.335, and was down at one stage to SG$0.27, leading to an inquiry from the Singapore exchange. In July, Vard had announced it had started to cut jobs after orders slumped at its shipyards due to the crude oil collapse, and that it expected the drop in yard utilisation to get worse for the rest of 2015 and 2016, said the Business Times.

Singapore-based Jurong Aromatics Corp, the operator of one of the world’s largest petrochemical plants, is negotiating a debt restructuring with its bankers because it cannot service its interest payments due to the plunge in oil prices. Operations at Jurong’s SG$3.4 billion plant stand halted December, pending discussions on the restructuring.

Rising volatility in the Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) stock has prompted Phillip Securities, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings and CIMB Group Holdings to place restrictions on the company’s online trading, such as advance cash payments in case clients want to buy more than SG$200,000 worth of the stock (CIMB), “phone only” orders (Phillip) and 50 percent cash down payment for purchases above SG$50,000 (UOB). Noble Group was up 2.41 per cent at SG$0.43, though short interest as a percentage of its outstanding shares rose to 14.15 per cent as on Monday.

Economic news

The Chinese yuan currency would have to wait until next year to be included in the IMF’s prestigious basket of reserve currencies, according to the Wall Street Journal. The executive board of the Fund extended the tenure of the current basket of reserve currencies, which comprise its Special Drawing Rights, to September 30, 2016.

On Wall Street Wednesday, stocks closed lower in volatile trading, as investors were thrown into doubt whether the Fed will raise rates at its next policy meeting, and energy stocks posted solid losses, according to Reuters. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 162.61 points, or 0.93 percent, to 17,348.73, the S&P 500 lost 17.31 points, or 0.83 percent, to 2,079.61 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 40.30 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,019.05.

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