US rebound fails to halt Singapore bourse's fall

In third straight day of decline, traders unsure if recovery in tech stocks can last

The Singapore bourse continued its downward trajectory yesterday, with the key Straits Times Index closing 7.24 points, or 0.29 per cent, lower at 2,492.09, uninspired by Wall Street's overnight bounce as tech's three-day rout in the United States paused.

Other key Asian equity gauges ended mixed. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia posted gains, while China, Hong Kong and Malaysia closed in the red.

The gains in US indexes aside, it is anybody's guess how long the buying in the beaten-down tech sector will last. It is an uncertainty that may be weighing on traders' minds.

Ms Pan Jingyi, IG Singapore's market strategist, said: "No doubt, it remains early stages to establish a floor for the decline, with momentum still pointing south. A further dip (below the 50-day moving average)... could induce fresh concerns, but, for the time being, prices may loiter in no man's land."

The local bourse's third straight day of decline comes ahead of US weekly jobless claims data, followed by today's consumer price index figures and a policy meeting by the European Central Bank.

Eyes are also on Brexit, following news that the European Union is considering legal action against Britain over plans to breach the Brexit agreement.

In the year to date, the STI has lost 23 per cent. The gains in the three banking stocks - UOB, DBS and OCBC - yesterday were unable to keep the market's barometer away from the negative territory.

Leading the losses were Wilmar International, Jardine Matheson, Ascendas Reit and Singapore Exchange.

Trading volume on the Singapore market totalled 1.58 billion shares worth $1.16 billion. Among the STI stocks, 11 counters rose and 16 fell.

Once again, Sembcorp Marine and Sembcorp Industries drew active trading. SembMarine's stock fell 4.2 per cent to 18.2 cents, with 91 million shares worth $17 million traded. Sembcorp Industries gained 1.7 per cent to $1.19, with 31 million shares worth $37 million changing hands.

The day's biggest winner was Sunningdale Tech, which climbed 14.4 per cent to $1.43.

The mainboard-listed precision manufacturer said on Wednesday that it had been approached in relation to a possible transaction involving its shares.

AGV Group fell 4 per cent to 2.4 cents. Yesterday morning, the Catalist-listed firm, which provides hot-dip galvanising services to the steel and iron sector, said its executive director Albert Ang was resisting a call to step down amid a probe by Commercial Affairs Department.

He has been on leave of absence since Aug 7.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2020, with the headline 'US rebound fails to halt Singapore bourse's fall'. Print Edition | Subscribe