Shares end low as Brexit gloom continues, STI closes 15 points lower

SINGAPORE - With nothing much to be excited about, Singapore shares ended the week lower, in line with other bourses across the region.

Continued gloom over Brexit, nerves over an unfolding banking crisis in Europe and uncertainty over an impending United States employment report, had investors heading out early for the weekend.

The local Straits Times Index shed 15.13 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 2,847.04. Shanghai fell 0.7 per cent, Tokyo dropped 1.1 per cent and Hong Kong slipped 0.7 per cent.

Most market punters were looking to the US report on June non-farm payrolls. The data might provide some clues to whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than expected, after a shockingly weak job report in May and market volatility in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union pushed it on the back foot.

"While a strong June report is not going to ring alarm bells for an imminent rate hike, a strong print tells the market that when the post-Brexit dust settles, the door will be open for the Fed to resume a path of interest rate normalisation," Mr Stephen Innes, a senior trader at Oanda Asia Pacific, told AFP.

At home, Noble Group's nil-paid rights and its shares continued to be hotly traded. Noble's shares fell 1.5 cents to 16.9 cents, with163 million shares changing hands.

The rights to subscribe for Noble shares dropped 1.9 cents to 5.5 cents.

These rights are options to buy Noble shares in a rights issue, which the commodity giant announced on June 3. Under the US$500 million (S$674.5 million) one-for-one rights issue, Noble launched new shares at 11 cents apiece. At the time, this was a discount of over 60 per cent to its share price.

SPH Reit gained a cent to 95 cents, after reporting on Thursday that distributable income for the third quarter rose 1.1 per cent over the same period last year to S$35 million.

Offshore and marine service provider Triyards Holdings added half a cent to 38 cents.

It said before the market opened yesterday morning that third quarter net profit had fallen 24 per cent from the same period a year ago, to US$4.1 million.

Still, OCBC Investment Research analyst low Pei Han maintained a "buy" rating on the firm.

"Compared to its peers, Triyards has a more diversified order book in terms of products offerings and clientele base, which is important in today's tough operating environment," she said.