STI down 0.8% at midday, with offshore marine and banking stocks hit

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) logo at SGX Centre.
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) logo at SGX Centre. PHOTO: BUSINESS TIMES FILE

SINGAPORE - Local stocks slid back into the red on Tuesday (Jan 26), taking cue from the overnight drop on Wall Street while oil price woes continue to loom.

The benchmark Straits Times Index opened to a bearish session and was down some 19 points or 0.76 per cent by noon, following a 1.29 per cent drop to Dow Jones Industrial Average overnight. The STI gained 0.22 per cent on Monday.

The reversal came as the regional markets also suffered losses in their early trading.

The same headwinds that had thrown global markets into disarray continued to persist, with global crude oil benchmark Brent hitting below US$30 per barrel again after a brief rise last week. Meanwhile, growth outlook in Asia is still shrouded in uncertainties.

Within Singapore, these concerns added to downbeat sentiment around corporate earnings. Keppel Corp, which last week announced huge earnings drop and provisions for potential client default, dropped 1 per cent by noon on Tuesday, and Sembcorp Marine shed 0.7 per cent.

All three banking stocks were also down amid questions of corporate credit quality and slowing loans demand. DBS lost 1.9 per cent after the morning session, UOB dropped 1.5 per cent, and OCBC pared 0.9 per cent.

SMRT however rose 3.3 per cent, on the back of its earnings announcement for the three months to Dec 31, when the transport operator profit rose 64 per cent year-on-year.