Bulls And Bears

STI continues losing streak for third day

S'pore stocks end lower, along with most of region, on back of weak Wall St showing

Singapore stocks racked up more red ink yesterday, in line with a region-wide selldown.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) shed 0.96 point, or 0.03 per cent, to 3,175.59 - extending its losing streak for the third day. Total trade on the bourse was a conservative 1.99 billion shares worth $949.3 million.

Tokyo led losses in the region as it dropped 1.4 per cent, Hong Kong retreated 0.52 per cent, while Sydney fell 0.34 per cent. Shanghai bucked the trend with a 0.33 per cent gain as investors remained optimistic over the government's launch of a massive new economic zone near Beijing.

The pullback here comes on the back of yet another weak overnight showing in Wall Street, which sank 0.2 per cent on news that the United States Federal Reserve may cut its balance sheet this year.

Traders were also on edge over US President Donald Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida, with trade and security issues set to be in focus.

"Trump's protectionism and Xi's strong diplomatic stance" could create sparks and potentially surprise the market, CMC Markets Singapore market analyst Margaret Yang said. "However, the chance of that happening is relatively small as China will ensure the summit between the two leaders is 'a complete success'."

Hong Kong-based port operator Hutchison Port Holdings Trust was one of the 19 laggards on the STI, sliding 2.4 per cent, or one US cent, to 40.5 US cents, while Golden Agri-Resources continued on a downward trajectory, easing 1.3 per cent, or half a cent, to 37 cents. Gainers included Global Logistic Properties, which rose 1.1 per cent, or three cents, to $2.79, and CapitaLand, up 0.8 per cent, or three cents, to $3.72.

Elsewhere, CWT asked for a trading halt on its shares in the afternoon, pending an announcement.

The stock last traded at $2.07, up 0.5 per cent, or one cent, on the previous day's close. A Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources said China's HNA Group is in advanced talks to make a formal takeover offer for CWT in a deal valuing the logistics provider at around $1.4 billion.

Pointing to HNA's recently announced plans to take a 35 per cent stake in a Reit, OCBC Investment Research said: "Assuming this new Reit has the mandate to acquire industrial properties, there is the possibility of divesting CWT's logistics properties into the Reit."

But it noted there are no firm details and these transactions may or may not materialise, adding it makes sense for shareholders to hold on to CWT shares for any potential upside.

Spackman Entertainment Group jumped 7.5 per cent, or 1.2 cents, to 17.3 cents. RHB Research Institute kept a "buy" call on the stock, citing the firm's $1.12 million acquisition of Frame Pictures as "a positive move".

LionGold Corp was the top traded counter, flat at 0.1 cent on 111.8 million shares done.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2017, with the headline 'STI continues losing streak for third day'. Print Edition | Subscribe