Bulls And Bears

STI down amid lack of overseas direction

Traders on sidelines as they await Fed chief Yellen's testimony for clues on interest rates

Local equities pulled back yesterday amid a lack of direction from overseas markets.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) shed 27.55 points or 0.85 per cent to 3,218.8, with a turnover of 1.29 billion shares worth $1.12 billion across the bourse.

Other markets in the region were mixed: Hong Kong extended gains from the previous day as it jumped 1.48 per cent, while Tokyo climbed 0.57 per cent and Shanghai slipped 0.3 per cent.

NetResearch Asia said in a report that markets continue to be "locked in a sideways mercurial funk" ahead of the upcoming corporate reporting season.

Traders also kept to the sidelines as they waited for the testimony of United States Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, scheduled for later today, for clues on when the central bank would next raise interest rates, while the 0.03 per cent dip on Wall Street overnight did little to lift sentiment in this part of the world.

On the STI, Global Logistic Properties took a big hit, plummeting 5.9 per cent or 17 cents to $2.70, while Yangzijiang Shipbuilding sank 3.5 per cent or 4.5 cents to $1.255.

Telco Singtel was a drag on the index as well, shedding 0.5 per cent or two cents to $3.88.

Its unit NetLink NBN Trust has priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 81 cents a unit, making the $2.3 billion offer size the biggest seen here in six years. NetLink is set to list next Wednesday.

Outside the index, home-grown e-commerce retailer and distributor Y Ventures made a strong debut on the Catalist board, finishing at 25.5 cents - 15.9 per cent higher than its IPO price of 22 cents.

The debut of Y Ventures, which has a market capitalisation of about $44 million, brings the total number of firms listed on Catalist to 196, with a combined market capitalisation of more than $12 billion, said the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

It also strengthens the SGX's technology cluster, now made up of 76 companies with a total market cap of more than $82 billion.

Meanwhile, backpack maker Dapai International Holdings was flat at 0.4 cent after announcing that it has been given until 5.05pm on Aug 10 to delist from the mainboard as it did not meet listing requirements. Trading in the firm's shares will then be suspended until the completion of the cash exit offer.

The day's most hotly traded stock was Sincap Group, which shot up 22.2 per cent or 0.4 cent to 2.2 cents on 148.1 million shares done.

Other actives included commodity trader Noble Group, which was up by 4 per cent or 2.5 cents to 65 cents, on news that its newest major shareholder Goldilocks Investment has raised its holding in the company.

Hu An Cable Holdings, which received a trading query from the SGX in the morning, rocketed 33.3 per cent or 0.3 cent to 1.2 cents in heavy trade.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2017, with the headline 'STI down amid lack of overseas direction'. Print Edition | Subscribe