APART from a large bounce in the shares of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) followed by a bizarre query from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and a volatile session for the Straits Times Index (STI), there really was not much about Wednesday's session to inspire anyone looking to either get in or out of local equities. "It was another 'blah' day, just like most of the other 'blah' days this year," said a dealer, summing up sentiment nicely.
The STI first raced off to an intraday high of 3,342 as short-covering momentum from Tuesday carried into Wednesday. However, by early afternoon, it began sliding and at one stage looked in danger of closing in the red. A late afternoon push however, enabled it to record a nett gain of 13.81 points for the day at 3,331.14. In two days, the STI has bounced about 50 points.
Heavy margin selling in China which took the Shanghai Composite Index down 5 per cent played a part in the volatility here, as did Greece's failure to make the necessary repayment to the International Monetary Fund by its Tuesday deadline as this represents one more step towards the country exiting the eurozone.
Turnover however, was a poor 908.6 million units worth S$925 million and the advance-decline score of 209-208 was notable not for the fact that it suggested a mixed session but because it meant that more than 400 counters were either unchanged or not traded.
The average unit value was S$1.01 and the 30 STI components contributed S$633 million or 68 per cent of the whole market's turnover. Although penny stocks dominated the list of actives, the unit value was boosted by the 24 million done in Singtel, the stock ending S$0.05 higher at S$4.26.