Bulls And Bears

Singapore market's losing streak continues

Rowsley is most active stock on news of Thomson Medical deal

Local shares headed south again yesterday, with traders seemingly showing more interest in the upcoming festive break.

The lack of engagement was impossible to ignore with just 1.62 billion shares worth $978.4 million changing hands for the day.

It left the Straits Times Index (STI) down 10.35 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 3,404.47 - not much to weep about in the grand scheme of things but the dip continued a four-day losing streak. Losers trumped gainers 224 to 173.

CMC Markets sales trader Oriano Lizza suggested "it might be a case of the mild exhaustion after a stellar year for the benchmark".

Rowsley stock was churning like a witch's cauldron, with 312.7 million shares moving on news that the company sought to pick up magnate Peter Lim's Thomson Medical healthcare businesses.

The counter - the day's most heavily traded - closed down 0.6 cent, or 4.41 per cent, to 13 cents.

The second-most heavily traded stock was semiconductor equipment maker Asti Holdings, down 0.4 cent, or 4.55 per cent, to 8.4 cents on a volume of 46.51 million.

The group said on Monday that it is in talks to sell several wholly owned units to Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co for around $100 million.

Another hot stock was Thai Beverage, which began trading again after the market opened.

It had taken a one-day halt on Monday to wait out the results of state-owned Vietnamese brewer Sabeco's share auction.

But ThaiBev's 109 trillion dong (S$6.5 billion) winning bid may have left a bad taste for some. The stock dipped two cents, or 2.06 per cent, to 95 cents, on a turnover of 23.55 million shares.

LifeBrandz Group lost 0.7 cent, or 20.59 per cent, to 2.7 cents on a turnover of 14.73 million shares. It has proposed a rights issue that is projected to raise estimated net proceeds of $5.7 million.

Singtel was a lead weight on the STI again after Monday's fall, down this time by three cents to $3.61.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom.

City Developments (CDL) added 11 cents to $12.37. Chairman Kwek Leng Beng has urged Millennium & Copthorne Hotels investors to accept CDL's higher offer of 620 pence a share.

Asian markets were a mixed bag in spite of the overnight frenzy on Wall Street. Hong Kong put on 0.7 per cent and Shanghai added 0.88 per cent, but Tokyo closed down 0.15 per cent and Seoul lost 0.13 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore market's losing streak continues'. Print Edition | Subscribe