Singapore shares closed lower against gains in regional markets

Gainers trailed losers 209 to 262 on the broader market, amid a turnover of 1.33 billion securities worth $1.21 billion. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore shares bucked the rising tide in Asia bourses, as the Straits Times Index (STI) closed at 3,087.56 points, down 0.49 per cent on Monday (Aug 23).

This was despite the benchmark edging up in early morning trade against a backdrop of Wall Street and European markets gains last Friday.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) dipped by 4.37 per cent to $10.29 at the closing bell, recovering some ground from early morning trade. The counter tumbled on the announcement that the Hong Kong Exchange would launch its first derivatives product based on onshore Chinese shares.

The offering could help resolve a major issue for international institutions investing in China, but the launch is a "key competitive risk" to SGX's FTSE China A50 Futures product, said research house CGS-CIMB.

Nanofilm Technologies, after an investor relations exercise to restore investors' confidence and a series of share buybacks following losing a third of its market value last week, rose 3.76 per cent to $4.14. Analysts had downgraded the stock due to the firm's disappointing financial results and leadership uncertainty.

Sembcorp Marine was the most heavily traded stock with more than 111.8 million shares changing hands, as its shareholders approved the $1.5 billion rights issue on Monday. The stock closed 3.88 per cent higher at $0.107.

Gainers trailed losers 209 to 262 on the broader market, amid a turnover of 1.33 billion securities worth $1.21 billion.

Other Asian markets had better luck, logging gains of between 0.39 per cent and 1.78 per cent.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.39 per cent higher and Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.78 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index soared 1.45 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.05 per cent.

South Korea's Kospi rose 0.97 per cent. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index closed 0.29 per cent higher.

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