Singapore bourse back in the red, STI closes week 3 points below 3,000 mark

SINGAPORE - Singapore equities on Friday (Oct 30) ended the week deeper in the red, as traders continued to be bogged down by news of the impending United States interest rate hike.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) slid for the fourth straight day, down 3.16 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 2,998.35 - breaching the 3,000-point level.

For the week, it lost 70.1 points or 2.3 per cent.

The STI's subdued performance was in line with that in Wall Street, which retreated 0.13 per cent overnight as traders priced in prospects of a interest rate hike come December.

"It's merely a re-evaluation of how people should be positioned given the Fed commentary (on Thursday)," Mr Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities Inc in Los Angeles, told Bloomberg.

"The door was left open for a rate hike in December, which is likely to lead to a much higher dollar. That won't be a good read for anyone doing business internationally."

Elsewhere in the region, Shanghai climbed 0.6 per cent as investors snapped up shares of children-related companies, after Beijing scrapped its long-standing "one-child" policy.

Hong Kong, however, fell 0.79 per cent, while Sydney dropped 0.5 per cent and Korea shaved 0.23 per cent.

Tokyo rose 0.78 per cent on renewed confidence as traders took in news that the Bank of Japan would stick to fresh monetary stimulus.

The STI on Friday was largely weighed down by the financial sector.

OCBC Bank continued on its downward trajectory since it announced a 27 per cent decline in its third-quarter results on Tuesday, sliding 5 cents or 0.55 per cent to $9.03, while DBS Group Holdings pared six cents or 0.35 per cent to $17.27.

United Overseas Bank, on the other hand, rose 29 cents or 1.45 per cent to $20.33 as its results for the third quarter to Sept 30 came in largely within expectations - a marginal 1 per cent drop in net profit to $858 million.

Commodity trader Noble Group was among the day's biggest losers, falling 1.5 per cent or 2.89 per cent to 50.5 cents. The stock was heavily traded, with 55.7 million shares changing hands.

Logistics facilities provider Global Logistics Properties fell 4 cents or 1.75 per cent to $2.24, even after announcing a 27.4 per cent jump in its second-quarter net profit to US$114 million.

Outside of the blue chips, social e-commerce and payments company YuuZoo Corporation was the most active, with 64.4 million shares being traded. It jumped 1.5 cents or 7.69 per cent to 21 cents.

Overall trading on the bourse amounted to 924.6 million shares worth $1.13 billion.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg