Bulls And Bears

STI inches lower ahead of Fed's decision

Local bourse down slightly as caution sets in due to expected rise in US interest rates

Singapore shares finished slightly lower as caution set in ahead of this week's monetary policy decision from the United States Federal Reserve - widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points.

The Straits Times Index closed 5.85 points or 0.18 per cent lower at 3,248.34, weighed down by the banks, Genting Singapore, Global Logistic Properties (GLP) and Hongkong Land.

DBS Group Holdings lost 13 cents or 0.6 per cent to $20.59; United Overseas Bank shed 13 cents or 0.6 per cent to $23.47, while OCBC closed flat at $10.68.

Genting Singapore fell 2.1 per cent or 2.5 cents to $1.165; GLP shed 0.7 per cent or two cents to $2.94. Singapore Press Holdings dipped 1.5 per cent or five cents to $3.20.

Property counters also fell. Hongkong Land slid 0.6 per cent or five US cents to US$7.76; City Developments lost 0.8 per cent or nine cents to $10.86; UOL Group dipped 0.7 per cent or five cents to $7.62.

Friday's sell-off on Wall Street on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index also spread here, with profit-taking dragging down shares of Venture Corp, which dropped 2.7 per cent or 34 cents to $12.16.

AEM fell 9.2 per cent or 25 cents to $2.47; UMS plunged nearly 13 per cent or 16 cents to 1.075; Sunningdale Tech shed 6.6 per cent or 14 cents to $1.98. Valuetronics lost 12.1 per cent or 10.5 cents to 76 cents and Hi-P fell 9 per cent or nine cents to 91 cents.

Among the most actively traded pennies was Moya Holdings Asia, which fell 5.3 per cent or 0.7 cent to 12.4 cents after it announced it has completed the acquisition of a water treatment and distribution plant in Indonesia. More than 40 million shares were traded.

Golden Agri-Resources was flat at 37 cents, with 41.3 million shares traded. Imperium Crown gained 0.9 per cent or 0.1 cent to 11.8 cents, with 40.6 million shares traded; Disa rose 4.3 per cent or 0.1 cent to 2.4 cents, with 40.2 millions shares on trade. Addvalue Tech fell 1.7 per cent or 0.1 cent to 5.7 cents, with 37.3 million shares traded.

iFast Corp extended gains, climbing 1 per cent or one cent to 97.5 cents, after news that its subsidiary iFast Financial has been admitted as a securities-trading and clearing member with the SGX. iFast Financial is part of the investment products distribution platform.

Ezion jumped 6.7 per cent or 1.5 cents to 24 cents after Ausgroup said it would issue about 141 million new shares at 5.8 cents to Ezion, the controlling shareholder.

The transaction is related to the capitalisation of about $8.2 million of the shareholder loan from Ezion.

On completion, Ezion will own 20 per cent of Newsgroup, up from 17.83 per cent.

Hanwell Holdings jumped 10.3 per cent or 3.5 cents to 37.5 cents on interest from momentum traders and intra-day speculators, according to NRA Capital.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2017, with the headline 'STI inches lower ahead of Fed's decision'. Print Edition | Subscribe