Mixed day for Asia markets over Fed rate hike signals, STI ends 3 points lower

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) premises.
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) premises.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The rate hike is coming back into investors' focus again, and Asian markets had a mixed day amid expectations that Federal Reserve officials may signal an imminent hike.

Over the past week, several Fed senior figures including John Williams and William Dudley had hinted at a possible September hike as the United States growth outlook firms up.

With Fed chairman Janet Yellen expected to speak later this week following a Wyoming meeting, investors did not fancy their chances. On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.1 per cent last week as a result.

Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index took the cue, closing down 2.83 points or 0.10 per cent at 2,841.19, on only S$586.3 million worth of shares traded across the entire market.

Shanghai was down 0.75 per cent due also to profit-taking, while Hong Kong managed to add 0.27 per cent in a slow day. Nikkei rose 0.32 per cent, after the Japanese yen weakened against the greenback.

Of the 30 STI component stocks, 13 ended in the red yesterday, with StarHub leading the losers. It closed down 10 cents or 2.60 per cent at S$3.75. SingTel closed flat at S$4.19, while M1 outside the STI dropped one cent or 0.37 per cent to S$2.71.

In the property segment, City Developments pared 15 cents or 1.72 per cent to S$8.58, while CapitaLand was off one cent or 0.32 per cent to S$3.08. CapitaLand Commercial Trust also ended lower, dropping one cent or 0.64 per cent to S$1.56.

Away in the small and mid-cap segment, CNMC Goldmine shot up 4.5 cents or 8.65 per cent yesterday to 56.5 cents. Since Aug 10, when the Malaysia-based gold miner reported a 30.9 per cent surge in second quarter net profit to $4.7 million, the shares have gained 7.6 per cent.