Bulls And Bears

STI closes weaker in quiet trading

Investors waiting for outcome of Trump-Xi meeting this week, among other risk factors

The Singapore market beat a retreat yesterday, taking its cue from overnight losses on Wall Street.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) pared 8.45 points or 0.27 per cent to 3,179.06, with turnover across the bourse at a lacklustre 1.72 billion shares worth $879.9 million.

The weak showing came as key indices in the United States extended their losing streaks, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.06 per cent on Monday following weak automobile sales for March.

Most other regional markets finished lower as well: Tokyo dropped 0.91 per cent, Seoul slid 0.3 per cent and Sydney eased 0.27 per cent.

Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan were closed for a holiday.

"Risk factors lie ahead in the form of the US market reaction towards the March non-farm payrolls data and the first face-to-face meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping," IG market strategist Jingyi Pan said.

"The (meeting) is expected to have due influence on Asian markets, and I would not be surprised if traders choose to stay on the sidelines to ride out these events."

Palm oil giant Golden Agri- Resources was among the 15 losers on the index, sliding 2.6 per cent or one cent to 38 cents.

All three local banks fell: DBS Group Holdings lost 0.9 per cent or 17 cents to $19.23, OCBC Bank slid 0.6 per cent or six cents to $9.72 and United Overseas Bank shed 0.3 per cent or seven cents to $22.05.

Elsewhere, film producer mm2 Asia jumped 3.1 per cent or 1.5 cents to 50 cents, after announcing in the morning the launch of the initial public offering of its unit UnUsUaL on the Singapore Exchange's Catalist board. UnUsUaL is placing some 97 million shares at 20 cents each.

BreadTalk gained 3.3 per cent or 4.5 cents to $1.40. DBS Equity Research reinstated coverage of the stock with a "buy" call and a target price of $1.69. It sees a recovery in the company's earnings, led by its foodcourt business which turned around in last year's fourth quarter.

ST GRAPHICS

S i2i, which offers mobile telecommunication solutions, fell 5.2 per cent or 13 cents to $2.35. The company said its wholly owned unit Affinity Capital has entered into an asset transfer agreement with SB ISAT Fund for the proposed acquisition of an e-commerce platform.

Affinity will allot and issue 22.5 million new ordinary shares to SB ISAT Fund at 28 cents each. When the deal is completed, S i2i's equity interest in Affinity will be diluted from 100 per cent to 50 per cent plus one ordinary share issued in the capital of Affinity.

The day's most traded stock was Chasen Holdings, which surged 17.4 per cent or two cents to 13.5 cents on 126.3 million shares done.

Other actives included ISR Capital, which slumped 14.3 per cent or 0.1 cent to 0.6 cent, and Amplefield, up sharply by 28.6 per cent or 2.6 cents to 11.7 cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2017, with the headline 'STI closes weaker in quiet trading'. Print Edition | Subscribe