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Singapore shares lower for fifth straight session on China worries

Monday, November 2, 2015 - 17:48
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A man passes a stock index board at the Singapore Exchange.

The Straits Times Index on Monday fell for the fifth consecutive session, losing 23.94 points or 0.8 per cent at 2,974.41. Traders here had to contend with weakness in Hong Kong and China following news that China's October PMI was below expectations, as well as softness in the Dow futures which indicated that Wall Street would be weak on Monday.

Volume was a low 1.3 billion units worth S$885.3 million and excluding warrants, there were 129 rises versus 283 falls.

All three banks ended lower with OCBC dropping for the fourth successive day when it lost S$0.08 at S$8.95 on volume of 6.1 million. UOB, whose shares jumped S$0.29 on Friday after it reported its third quarter figures and announced a special dividend, fell back S$0.12 to S$20.21 on volume of 2.3 million.

Nomura in a Oct 30 report maintained its "buy" on UOB with S$28.10 target price, whilst Maybank Kim Eng described UOB's figures as "commendable" but maintained its "hold" recommendation and S$21 target price.

In the shipping sector, shares of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) fell S$0.035 to S$0.96 on volume of 19.1 million. NOL on Friday reported a third quarter net loss of US$96 million, compared to a net loss of US$23 million in 2014.

OCBC Investment Research said despite NOL's efforts to increase operational efficiencies, it thinks that they are not enough to offset the challenging outlook ahead. The broker maintained its "hold" and lowered its target for NOL from S$1.00 to S$0.96.

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