BULLS AND BEARS

STI drops below 3,000-point level

Index slides for fourth straight day, losing 3.16 points to 2,998 - down 70 points for the week

Singapore equities yesterday ended the week deeper in the red, as traders continued to be bogged down by worries over the impending United States interest rate hike.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) fell for a fourth straight day, losing 3.16 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 2,998.35 - falling below the 3,000-point level. It was down 70.1 points or 2.28 per cent for the week.

The STI's subdued performance was in line with Wall Street's, which retreated 0.13 per cent overnight as traders priced in prospects of an interest rate hike in 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, 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 slipped 0.14 per cent, even as investors snapped up shares of companies selling child-related products after Beijing scrapped its long-standing one-child policy.

Hong Kong fell 0.79 per cent, Sydney slid 0.5 per cent and Korea shed 0.23 per cent. Tokyo, however, rose 0.78 per cent on renewed confidence as traders took in news that the Bank of Japan would stick to fresh monetary stimulus.

Yesterday, the financial sector largely dragged down the STI.

OCBC Bank kept losing ground since unveiling a 27 per cent decline in its third-quarter results on Tuesday, sliding five 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 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 cents or 2.89 per cent to 50.5 cents on a heavy 55.7 million shares changing hands.

Logistics facilities provider Global Logistic Properties fell four 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 (S$160 million).

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

Spackman Entertainment Group put up a strong showing, surging 1.1 cents or 17.2 per cent to 7.5 cents.

While there has been no news that could explain the price movement, remisier Desmond Leong said that the stock, which closed at its peak for the day, could continue to see interest on Monday. "Spackman has a habit of being a one-day wonder, like most pennies," he added.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2015, with the headline 'STI drops below 3,000-point level'. Print Edition | Subscribe