Singapore shares ended a little lower yesterday as nervousness over several key events today kept investors on the sidelines.
"We have the key UK (election) vote, the European Central Bank (ECB) meet and (ex-FBI director) James Comey's testimony to the Senate (leading to) most investors keeping to the sidelines," a dealer said.
Any damaging revelations from Mr Comey are likely to further hurt US President Donald Trump and his confidence in plans to roll back regulations and overhaul the tax system.
The Straits Times Index closed 0.16 per cent or 5.26 points lower at 3,230.49, weighed down by Singtel, Jardine Matheson Holdings, Wilmar International and two local banks.
Singtel shed 0.8 per cent or three cents to $3.75; Jardine Matheson lost 1.1 per cent or 74 US cents to US$65.95; and Wilmar fell 1.1 per cent or four cents to $3.49. DBS Group Holdings fell 0.3 per cent or six cents to $20.43 and OCBC dipped 0.2 per cent or two cents to $10.58.
But property blue chips UOL and City Developments (CDL) continued to be hotly traded on positive sentiment after three collective property sales were sealed in a week. UOL rose 2.3 per cent or 17 cents to $7.43; CDL rose 0.6 per cent or six cents to $10.74; and Ho Bee gained 0.8 per cent or two cents to $2.38.
Wing Tai Holdings climbed 0.5 per cent or one cent to $1.95 after it said it was disposing of its subsidiary Winnamax Investment for $270.8 million in a deal with Xu Chang Co.
Also actively traded was Haw Par Corp, a holding company of UOB's Wee family, and UOL associate United Industrial Corporation (UIC). Haw Par gained 2.1 per cent or 23 cents at $11.38, and UIC jumped 5.3 per cent or 17 cents at $3.35.
The bourse got a lift from United Overseas Bank, which was up 0.6 per cent or 15 cents to $23.35; and Singapore Press Holdings, which gained 1.3 per cent or four cents to $3.24. Genting Singapore rose 0.9 per cent or one cent to $1.16.
Embattled Noble Group remained the talk of town after its shares slumped to their lowest level since 2000 on worries over its ability to secure more funding this month. After struggling to stay above 30 cents on Tuesday, Noble shares rebounded 3.2 per cent or one cent to 32.5 cents on talk of short covering.
Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust rose 3.4 per cent or 3.5 cents at $1.07 after OCBC Investment Research maintained its buy call after the trust proposed to acquire a portfolio of seven industrial properties in Australia from its sponsor Frasers Centrepoint.
Among the most actively traded pennies was Blumont Group, which was flat at 0.2 cent on trade of 76.8 million shares. Moya Asia jumped 4.8 per cent or 0.6 cent to 13.1 cents, with 67.7 million shares traded; Addvalue Technologies gained 3.6 per cent or 0.2 cent to 5.7 cents, with 53.8 million shares traded; and Magnus Energy plunged 50 per cent or 0.1 cent to 0.1 cent, on trade of 33.6 million shares.