Negative market sentiment leads to slide in Singapore, Asian shares, STI down 29 points

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) dropped as much as 1.59 per cent in trading on Wednesday, before recovering 1.02 per cent lower at 2,827.58.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) dropped as much as 1.59 per cent in trading on Wednesday, before recovering 1.02 per cent lower at 2,827.58.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singapore equities continued to slide downhill in line with most other Asian shares, as market sentiment remained in the doldrums.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) dropped as much as 1.59 per cent in trading on Wednesday, before recovering somewhat to close 29.09 points or 1.02 per cent lower at 2,827.58.

This came as Wall Street lost 0.49 per cent overnight to mark its biggest decline in a month, amid sliding oil prices and renewed concerns over global growth.

A big contributor to the selldown on the index was OCBC Bank, which traded ex-dividend and fell 24 cents or 2.8 per cent to S$8.35.

"This has a lot to do with the current market sentiment," CMC Markets Singapore market analyst Margaret Yang told The Straits Times. "Investors are still very worried about rising non-performing loans for the banks, given the slump in crude prices and the news of Swiber's insolvency."

Oilfield services provider Swiber Holdings, which now faces claims amounting to a hefty US$50.5 million (S$67.6 million), is struggling to survive under judicial management.

"It doesn't help that that there is selling pressure in the surrounding markets," added Ms Yang.

Commodity trader Noble Group was again the day's most actively traded, sliding 0.1 Singapore cent or 0.8 per cent to 13.2 cents on 319.4 million shares done.