Bulls And Bears

Market dips amid investor jitters

Increasing caution ahead of British PM's Brexit speech and Trump's inauguration

Singapore shares closed lower in line with most of Asia yesterday as investors turned skittish ahead of key events in Britain and the United States this week.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will outline today whether the country will aim for a "clean and hard" Brexit, while on Friday, US President-elect Donald Trump will be inaugurated.

Investor nerves over these upcoming events sent the Straits Times Index down 0.4 per cent or 11.95 points to 3,013.12.

"What was initially observed to be market euphoria following Trump's US election victory has gradually transitioned to mounting caution as the markets watch if Trump will follow through with his business-friendly promises," said Mr Woon Tian Yong, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures.

Investors are also watchful of Mr Trump's protectionist policies and their potential impact on markets.

The market was also weighed down by falls among three blue chips.

Global Logistic Properties sank 2.6 per cent or seven cents to $2.58, ComfortDelGro fell 1.97 per cent or five cents to $2.49 and Golden Agri-Resources dipped 2.3 per cent or one cent to 42 cents.

But the STI held above 3,000 points as fund inflows continued amid a pullback in the greenback against the Singdollar. Whether it can hold above 3,000 will depend on the upcoming earnings season, traders say.

"Our STI objective remains 3,150 by mid-year. The Q4 results season has just started. With the earnings downward revision trend still ongoing, a near-term pullback or consolidation is welcome until the earnings revision trend becomes clearer," DBS Group Research said.

LionGold, which was queried by the Singapore Exchange over unusual trading volume, was flat at 0.1 cent, with nearly 900 million shares traded.

Other actively traded stocks included Equation, which jumped 16.7 per cent or 0.3 cent to 2.1 cents, with 217.4 million shares traded.

Noble Group fell 2.2 per cent or 0.4 cent to 17.5 cents on trade of 81.1 million shares, while Alliance Mineral gained 6.3 per cent or 0.6 cent to 10.2 cents, with 50.4 million shares changing hands.

CNMC Goldmine fell 6.7 per cent or three cents to 41.5 cents after it issued a fourth-quarter loss warning, but said it still expects to be profitable for the full year.

The company cited losses due to the ringgit's fall against the greenback.

SPH shares fell 3.5 per cent or 13 cents to $3.56 after the media company last Friday reported a 43.8 per cent drop in first-quarter net profit to $45.7 million.

Perennial Real Estate Holdings was queried over unusual price movement, when it fell 3.1 per cent or 2.5 cents to 77.5 cents.

The company said it could not explain the trading activity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'Market dips amid investor jitters'. Print Edition | Subscribe