Singapore stocks fall for fourth day in regional rout

SINGAPORE - The local market had another dismal run on Tuesday (June 9) when Asia was hit by a region-wide pullback.

Despite opening higher in early trading, the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) ended lower for the fourth day, down 25.2 points or 0.76 per cent down at 3,295.13.

This marked the first time the local market hit below the 3,300 support level since early January, and may be the start of further drop, analysts said.

STI's poor form today was part of retreat that hit major markets worldwide. In the United States, where sentiments were mixed after May job data renewed concerns of interest rate hike, Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.46 per cent overnight.

Nikkei took the cue and dropped the most in almost a month by 1.76 per cent yesterday. In China, Hong Kong lost 1.2 per cent while Shanghai dropped 0.36 per cent after investors took profit on its fresh seven year high on Monday.

Back in Singapore, banking stocks emerged as top performing blue chips in a slow day. DBS closed 34 cents or 1.69 per cent up at $20.42 and United Overseas Bank closed 18 cents or 0.79 per cent up at $22.92. OCBC ended two cents or 0.20 per cent lower at $9.95 as late minute sell-down wiped off its earlier gain.

Noble Group however dropped the most among blue chips, closing 4.5 cents or 6.38 per cent down at 66 cents - a fresh six-year low for the embattled commodity firm.

Noble has been on a free fall since Iceberg's attacks spook its investors, while commodity trading is also being hit hard by persistent price woes worldwide. Olam, another commodity firm, also closed three cents or 1.61 per cent down at $1.83.

Singapore Exchange closed three cents or 0.38 per cent down at $7.90, a day after Loh Boon Chye was revealed to be its new chief executive. Mr Loh is widely expected by market watchers to revitalise the struggling equity market at the bourse, which has been largely side-lined by red hot activities in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

whwong@sph.com.sg