Singapore stocks slide in line with most Asian bourses

In the broader market, gainers beat decliners 257 to 243, with 729.9 million securities worth $862.5 million transacted. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares slid in line with the declines recorded at most Asian bourses on Tuesday, amid reports of the Republic’s December exports having plunged by their steepest level in a decade.

The Straits Times Index (STI) was down 3.09 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 3,280.51 – the second day in a row that the blue-chip barometer has dropped.

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports declined by 20.6 per cent in December, dragged by a fall in electronics and non-electronics shipments, as well as a decline in deliveries to most of the Republic’s top 10 key markets, data published on Tuesday showed.

Ms Selena Ling, chief economist at OCBC Bank, said that global demand conditions are likely to continue to be weighed down in the first quarter of 2023, unless global central banks explicitly pivot to a rate pause and recession worries abate.

Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust units closed at $1.80, up 2.9 per cent. This made it the top STI gainer, as optimism surrounding China’s reopening buoyed prospects for the real estate investment trust.

Shares of semiconductor testing company AEM rose 1.8 per cent to $3.32. A Citi report following its analyst’s visit to AEM’s recently opened plant in Penang supported its conviction that the company’s medium-term potential remains intact. Still, Citi has cut its FY2023-24 earnings estimates for AEM by 16 per cent, to reflect uncertainty arising from cautious near-term capital expenditure by the group’s customers.

In the broader market, gainers beat decliners 257 to 243, with 729.9 million securities worth $862.5 million transacted.

Regionally, Hong Kong and China ended mostly in the red after China said its economic growth last year slowed as Covid-19 restrictions hammered activity.

But better-than-forecast fourth quarter and December data add to optimism it may be primed for a recovery.

Shares rose in Japan, while the yen slightly fell against the dollar as traders weighed the prospects of a possible change in policy by the Bank of Japan on Wednesday. The nation’s 10-year yield climbed above the central bank’s ceiling for a third day as traders added to wagers that it will adjust its yield-curve control policy. THE BUSINESS TIMES

  • With additional information from Bloomberg

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