Singapore bourse starts week on weak footing

The stronger-than-expected US job data last Friday failed to give a lift to Singapore investors.

The local benchmark Straits Times Index dipped 26.55 points, or 0.8 per cent on Monday, closing at 3,297.84 after Friday's 0.59 per cent rise. Volume was also lower, with only 1.27 billion shares worth $1.02 billion traded on the day.

Ezion closed at $1.14 after plunging 5 cents Monday, while Sembcorp Marine also dropped five cents to close at $2.91. Mermaid Maritime fell two cents, or 5 per cent, to 28 cents.

This came as Brent crude continued to be traded around the US$68 per barrel level, with no rebound in sight, and market fears are mounting over the likelihood of major oil producers cutting production and cancelling their orders with the offshore marine players.

In China, surprisingly disappointing trade data for November - including a 6.7 per cent on-year contraction - led to hopes that the government will be compelled to roll out more stimulus measures.

As a result, Shanghai rose 2.81 per cent to top 3,000 points for the first time in three years, while Hong Kong went up 0.19 per cent.