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Singapore stocks finish weaker; STI loses 1.1%, dragged lower by JM, banks

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ON Tuesday, the role of prime index mover was assumed by Jardine Matheson, when it plunged US$2.81 or 4.3 per cent to US$62.29, accounting for 10 points out of the Straits Times Index's (STI) 36.5 points or 1.12 per cent loss to 3,227.71.

The index had risen about 90 points since the start of the month, driven to fresh 22-month highs mainly by the banks, so it came as no surprise that adding to the index's loss were falls in the banks, their combined contribution amounting to a further 11 points. Falls in UOB and OCBC Bank were particularly notable.

Turnover was a moderate-to-heavy 2.3 billion units worth S$1.4 billion and the broad market was weak, recording 172 rises versus 292 falls excluding warrants.

Brokers noted that the STI had been rising strongly for several weeks now and was therefore due for a correction of sorts.

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On the external front, Hong Kong closed slightly weaker and the Dow futures slipped marginally into the red at 5pm.

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