Singapore shares dip at Friday's open despite US-China trade deal news; STI down 0.4%

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares pulled back at Friday's open, despite a Wall Street rally overnight on the back of news that the world's two largest economies were prepared to exchange tariff rollbacks.

The benchmark Straits Times Index slipped 0.4 per cent, or 12.41 points to 3,273.31 as at 9.01am. Gainers edged out losers slightly at 57 to 53, after about 55.5 million shares worth $57.9 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Rex International surged 8.8 per cent, or 1.5 cents to 18.5 cents, with 10.3 million shares traded, while Genting Singapore fell 2.6 per cent, or 2.5 cents to 93.5 cents with 3.1 million shares traded.

On Thursday, Genting Singapore posted a 24.5 per cent fall in its third-quarter net profit to $158.9 million, weighed down by "headwinds", the Resorts World Sentosa operator said.

Banking stocks were mixed in the early morning trade: DBS gained 0.1 per cent, or two cents to $26.68, United Overseas Bank shed 0.2 per cent, or five cents to $26.92, while OCBC Bank rose 0.3 per cent, three cents to $11.16.

Other active index stocks included Ascendas Reit which fell 3.9 per cent, or 12 cents to $3 on a cum-dividend, cum-rights basis, and Dairy Farm which lost 2.7 per cent, or 17 US cents to U$6.23.

Eagle Hospitality Trust also weakened, dropping 1.1 per cent, or 0.5 US cent to 45.5 US cents. This comes as more clarity over the condition of EHT's Queen Mary floating hotel is expected as soon as this month, when a peer review of the critical repair and maintenance issues is expected to be completed.

Despite a strong showing for its third-quarter results, MoneyMax Financial Services lost 5.1 per cent, or 0.8 cent to 15 cents. The Catalist-listed pawnbroker announced late on Thursday night that its net profit more than tripled to $3 million for the three months ended Sept 30, on better performance from certain business segments.

Meanwhile, MindChamps sank 7.3 per cent, or four cents to 51 cents after the early childhood education player posted a 73.1 per cent plunge in its Q3 net profit to $300,000 on expansion-related costs.


In the week ahead, expect a slew of corporate earnings, starting first with DBS and Singapore Techonologies Engineering on Monday.

Elsewhere, Wall Street's three main equities gauges closed at record highs on Thursday after US and China reportedly agreed to remove existing trade tariffs, sparking a huge rotation into equities and out of bonds. The Dow ended 0.7 per cent higher, the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3 per cent.

Over in Asia, stocks also advanced as a risk-on mood permeated global markets.

Japan's Topix rose 0.7 per cent as at 8.13am, South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 per cent, and Australian stocks gained 0.2 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng futures also climbed 0.4 per cent.