Bulls And Bears

STI snaps three-day winning streak

Investors take lead from uninspiring results from corporate America and fall in oil price

Singapore stocks lost ground yesterday as they tracked a poor showing in the United States and the latest slide in oil prices.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) slipped 20.35 points or 0.69 per cent to 2,940.43, snapping a three-day winning streak.

But the index still clocked gains for the week, moving up by 16.49 points or 0.6 per cent.

Wall Street dipped 0.6 per cent overnight as results from corporate America such as Sony and Microsoft fell short of expectations.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets were mixed: Hong Kong sank 0.7 per cent while Shanghai edged up 0.2 per cent, driven largely by consumer and technology stocks - though posting its worst weekly performance in three months with a 3.9 per cent loss.

Tokyo jumped 1.2 per cent to enter a bull market, following news that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) may look at providing relief to financial institutions.

"That puts a different light on the BOJ meeting and suggests they might be more creative than the markets had given them credit for," Rabobank FX strategist Jane Foley told Reuters. "Clearly we have seen the yen suffer on the back of that."

Sydney lost 0.7 per cent, Seoul shaved off 0.3 per cent and Kuala Lumpur pared 0.2 per cent.

"The recent risk rally ran out of steam, and rightly so," said IG market strategist Bernard Aw in a note.

"From a fundamental perspective, there was no significant improvement in the global growth outlook to justify the risk appetite."

Of the 30 STI constituents, 21 racked up losses, with oil and gas-related plays leading the pack.

Keppel Corporation slumped 30 cents or 5 per cent to $5.70 amid a decline in crude prices. Sembcorp Marine lost three cents or 1.6 per cent to $1.84 while its parent firm Sembcorp Industries fell eight cents or 2.6 per cent to $3.

Casino operator Genting Singapore dropped 2.5 cents or 2.8 per cent to 86.5 cents, and Singapore Technologies Engineering slid six cents or 1.7 per cent to $3.40.

Outside of the STI, Suntec Reit fell 1.5 cents or 0.9 per cent to $1.73, following a report by OCBC Investment Research that downgraded the stock to "sell" as "valuations now appear stretched". The property trust on Thursday posted a 6.3 per cent growth in its first-quarter distribution per unit to 2.371 cents.

Precision engineering firm Innovalues rose half a cent or 0.5 per cent to $1.08 as speculation continued over a potential takeover deal, said a NetResearch Asia report.

Best World International rose half a cent or 0.8 per cent to 64.5 cents. The counter, which surged to 72.5 cents in midday trade, received a trading query from the Singapore Exchange in the morning.

The top active was Magnus Energy Group, which was flat at 0.3 cent on volume of 134.3 million units.

A total of 1.25 billion shares worth $1.01 billion were traded.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'STI snaps three-day winning streak'. Print Edition | Subscribe