Singapore shares end week in the red despite festive cheer

Daily turnover came in just shy of 730.6 million securities worth a total of about $483.9 million. PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The upcoming holidays did little to spur local shares as they ended the week on a slightly dour note. Gloomy macroeconomic data – steady inflation levels and a 3.2 per cent contraction in factory output for November – also did not ease investor worries.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) lost 0.4 per cent or 11.83 points to close on Friday at 3,257.70. Daily turnover came in just shy of 730.6 million securities worth a total of about $483.9 million. Decliners outnumbered advancers 282 to 222.

In the US, market watchers noted that economic data could also have triggered volatility in the global stock market. SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes, for one, is awaiting the release of the personal consumption expenditure inflation data. He noted that weekly jobless claims in the US have also crept up.

“On top of these new data points, we are learning that forthcoming fiscal stimulus from Congress may be better than investors previously anticipated,” he said.

“If you take a step back, the overarching market narrative and the principal macro worry have shifted from inflation to recession. Those recession fears might be too hard for investors to shake, with most – if not all – of Wall Street calling for a down stock cycle.”

In Singapore, healthcare player Medtecs International was one of the top gainers by value, jumping 30.4 per cent or 4.2 cents to 18 cents. No significant deals or announcements were revealed by the company as at market close. Medtecs posted a loss of US$3.7 million (S$5 million) for the first half of the year ended June on fewer orders and lower prices for its products.

Special purpose acquisition company Pegasus Asia was the top loser on the bourse, falling 6.5 per cent or 30 cents to $4.30.

Of the banking trio, UOB and DBS joined the top decliners. The former fell 0.8 per cent or 26 cents to $30.90, while the latter shed 0.7 per cent or 23 cents to $34.04. OCBC, in contrast, added 0.5 per cent or 6 cents to $12.37. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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