Bulls and bears

Local shares slide for third day in a row

Gloom on bourse over possible US interest rate hike at the end of the year

Local shares remained in the doldrums for the third straight day as the possibility of imminent interest rate hikes in the United States rattled investors.

The gloomy mood left the Straits Times Index (STI) down 39 points, or 1.28 per cent, at 3,001.51.

The slide came despite investor confidence surging on Wall Street, which jumped 1.13 per cent overnight, buoyed by news that the US Federal Reserve may raise rates as early as December.

"The impression the Fed left is that December is still on the table; it didn't close the door to that," Mr Russ Koesterich, a global chief investment strategist at BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, told Bloomberg.

"The main takeaway is that the Fed is managing its (options) and if we get a few good economic data points, then December is possible."

ST Graphics

Markets elsewhere in the region turned in a mixed bag: Shanghai climbed 0.36 per cent as China's leaders wrapped up a key policy meeting, while Hong Kong slipped 0.6 per cent. Tokyo inched up 0.17 per cent, Seoul dipped 0.41 per cent and Sydney fell 1.28 per cent.

At home, the day's biggest laggards included aerospace and defence conglomerate ST Engineering, which lost 11 cents or 3.27 per cent to $3.25.

Commodity trading giant Noble Group also fared poorly, sinking 1.5 cents or 2.8 per cent to 52 cents. The stock was again the day's most active counter, with 83.4 million shares traded.

OCBC Bank lost ground for the second day, falling 12 cents or 1.3 per cent to $9.08. This was after it announced on Tuesday a 27 per cent year-on-year drop in its third-quarter net profit to $902 million.

DBS Group Holdings shed 12 cents or 0.69 per cent to $17.33, while United Overseas Bank was the only outlier among the banks and blue chips, edging up four cents or 0.2 per cent to $20.04.

Telco group Singtel was down eight cents or 1.98 per cent at $3.97.

Outside of the STI, construction, property and engineering group Koh Brothers added one cent or 3.39 per cent to 30.5 cents, after announcing it had secured a $1.12 billion project from Changi Airport Group for development work at the Changi Airport.

Some of the hospitality real estate investment trusts (Reits) also performed well. CDL Hospitality Trust rose half a cent or 0.36 per cent to $1.40, despite a 9.7 per cent drop in distribution per unit (DPU) to 2.36 cents for the third quarter, while Frasers Hospitality Trust gained half a cent or 0.65 per cent to 77.5 cents, after reporting a DPU of 1.66 cents for the quarter.

AIMS AMP Capital Industrial Reit slipped half a cent or 0.35 per cent to $1.415, despite a 1.1 per cent rise in DPU to 2.8 cents for the quarter.

Trading volume across the bourse remained lacklustre, with 1.22 billion shares worth $956.9 million changing hands.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline 'Local shares slide for third day in a row'. Print Edition | Subscribe