STI loses steam, sheds 0.45% with regional markets mixed

Singapore shares opened higher on May 31, 2021. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore shares opened higher on Monday (May 31), tracking Wall Street's gains last Friday. But blue-chip gauge Straits Times Index (STI) quickly lost steam and drifted lower, ending May's last trading day by shedding 0.45 per cent to 3,164.28 points.

For the month in which investors espouse "sell in May and go away", the benchmark was 1.68 per cent lower month-on-month.

Catalist-listed Union Gas rose 8.57 per cent to $0.95 on Monday, with the "unusual price movements" eliciting a query from bourse operator, Singapore Exchange (SGX). The provider of fuel products in Singapore replied that it was not aware of any information not announced that might explain the spike in price.

Sembcorp Marine, with a trading volume of 90.7 million shares, was the most active counter. Shares of the offshore and marine player were flat at $0.20 when market closed.

The local banking trio traded lower with DBS Bank shedding 1.25 per cent to $30.03, OCBC Bank 1.12 per cent lower at $12.36 and UOB declining 0.80 per cent to $26.07.

Data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Monday showed that total business loans in Singapore came in near flat at $427.69 billion in April after four straight months of steady growth.

Gainers outpaced losers 265 to 224 in the broader market, with 1.63 billion securities worth $1.2 billion transacted.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets were mixed as the pandemic continues to plague some countries.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.25 per cent, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was 0.99 per cent lower and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite dropped 0.68 per cent.

The Shanghai Composite Index was 0.41 per cent higher and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.09 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi Index closed 0.48 per cent higher.

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