Singapore shares slip slightly as jitters continue over N. Korea missile programme

The local benchmark Straits Times Index slipped just 3.08 points, or 0.1 per cent, to close at 3,224.98.
The local benchmark Straits Times Index slipped just 3.08 points, or 0.1 per cent, to close at 3,224.98.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares were little changed, as ongoing jitters over North Korea's missile programme continued to weigh down on sentiment across the region.

The local benchmark Straits Times Index slipped just 3.08 points, or 0.1 per cent, to close at 3,224.98, leaving it 1.6 per cent lower for the week.

Hong Kong shares added 0.53 per cent while Shanghai gained 0.16 per cent as bargain hunters moved in at the end of a volatile week, but Seoul slipped 0.1 per cent and Tokyo fell 0.6 per cent.

Trading has been dampened by fears that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might launch another missile test this weekend to mark the anniversary of the country's foundation.

This would only rack up tensions in the Korean peninsula, as it follows a nuclear test last week.

CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang told Bloomberg that the current jitters could well be an excuse for Asian traders to kick off a larger sell-off, given how much Asian shares have risen so far this year.

"While fundamentals are improving, Asia's rally this year is a bit overheated and there may be a technical pullback ahead," she said.

At home, blue chip stocks were mixed, with ComfortDelGro among the biggest movers. The taxi operator rose 3 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to S$2.20.

CapitaLand fell a cent to S$3.70, even as OCBC Investment Research reiterated its "buy" call on the stock, following the firm's announcement on Thursday that it was investing S$300 million in Indonesia.

Another blue chip firm to ink an Indonesia deal on Thursday, Keppel Corp, also edged down a cent to S$6.27.

 

Related Stories: