Bulls And Bears

STI snaps losing streak, but tech shares decline

Property developers, banks lead recovery; Wall Street tech pullback spreads here

The Straits Times Index yesterday snapped its losing streak, turning around from four days of decline with a rise of 15.02 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 3,513.31.

The recovery was led by mid-and large-cap financial institutions such as the three local banks and property developers - including City Developments, which recently announced a new project launch, The Tapestry; and GuocoLand, which clinched a new site through a collective sale tender.

What was more notable, however, was a pullback from a bunch of tech counters, following a share price tumble of big technology companies on Wall Street.

Overnight on Monday, Facebook suffered the biggest hit, diving close to 7 per cent on reports that a data analysis firm hired by Mr Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign had stolen information from Facebook user profiles to design software to influence voters' choices.

The jitters spread to Asia. On the local bourse, semiconductor equipment maker AEM Holdings fell 24 cents, or 3.3 per cent, to $7.12, while precision manufacturer UMS Holdings fell three cents, or 2.3 per cent, to $1.27.

Hi-P International, a components supplier for Apple and Amazon, fell 3 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $2.65. Contract manufacturer Venture Corporation slipped 19 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $28.54.

Digital entertainment product maker Creative Technology, which many reckon has been overbought and is still correcting from its decade high reached earlier this month, fell four cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $6.51.

IG Markets market strategist Pan Jingyi said: "For the broad Singapore market in the morning, the market was cognisant of what had happened in the US overnight. For the early sell-off in Asia, the magnitude of change was not as bad as it was in the US... The sentiment slowly cleared up a bit, resulting in the Singapore market finishing a little better than in the morning."

It was reported recently that Apple was designing and producing its own device displays for the first time. This led to jitters among contract manufacturers that depend on Apple's contracts.

Commodities merchant Noble Group saw some buying interest, rising 0.2 cent, or 1.8 per cent, to 11.3 cents, following Monday's sell-down on the back of a looming bond default.

Overall on the Singapore market, some 1.4 billion shares worth $938.1 million were traded. Losers outpaced gainers 224 to 195.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2018, with the headline 'STI snaps losing streak, but tech shares decline'. Print Edition | Subscribe