Singapore shares ended a shade lower yesterday after some losses were capped by a strong opening in Europe. The mixed day left the Straits Times Index down 2.50 points or 0.09 per cent to 2,862.17.
Lower crude palm oil prices dragged down Golden Agri-Resources, which lost 2.8 per cent or one cent to 35 cents, and Wilmar International, which lost 0.9 per cent or three cents to $3.28.
Expectations of further delays in United States interest rate hike over Brexit concerns weighed on banking counters. UOB fell 1.6 per cent or 30 cents to $18.18, DBS lost 0.4 per cent or seven cents to $15.68 while OCBC dipped 0.1 per cent or one cent to $8.79.
Meanwhile, investors are focusing on US payroll data due early tomorrow morning Singapore time.
Safe-haven bets continue to be in favour, with Singtel up 0.5 per cent or two cents to $4.17, with 47.6 million shares traded. SGX My Gateway said telcos Singtel, StarHub and M1 averaged a total return of 7.3 per cent in the first six months of the year and maintained an average dividend yield of 5 per cent.
Gold plays have not lost their shine, with Anchor Resources up 16.7 per cent or two cents to 14 cents, with 69.5 million shares traded. CNMC Goldmine jumped 16.2 per cent or 8.5 cents to 61 cents, with 47.6 million shares traded.
Resources Prima Group, which jumped 22.6 per cent or 0.7 cent to 3.8 cents, was another active with 23.8 million shares traded.
SMRT shares dipped 0.7 per cent or one cent to $1.50, following news that more than two dozen of its first China-made MRT trains were being shipped back to their manufacturer after defects were found.
OCBC Investment Research has a hold call on the stock, noting: "While SMRT has yet to state how sending back these trains will affect operations, it is unlikely to be required to pay for any costs involved since these defects are still under manufacturer's warranty."
Ezion Holdings fell 9.1 per cent or 4.5 cents to 45 cents after the stock went ex-rights yesterday.
"The stock price corrected because investors that bought Ezion shares (yesterday) won't be entitled to the additional rights shares," Mr Lee Yu Sheng, trading representative of Maybank Kim Eng, said.
UOB KayHian, which maintained a hold call on Ezion, said: "Post the rights issue, we think the downside earnings risk is minimal, as it is clearly at its worst.
"Ezion's adaptation to the new business environment and likely teething issues with its maiden entry into China's offshore wind farm limit earnings growth, and its share price is likely capped on the upside," the broker said.
Noble dropped 10.2 per cent or 2.1 cents to 18.4 cents, with 159.9 million shares traded. Its rights shares slumped nearly 30 per cent or 3.1 cents to 7.4 cents, triggering bouts of "cut-loss" selling along the way, dealers said.