Singapore shares open slightly lower on Thursday; STI down 0.1%

SINGAPORE stocks opened slightly lower on Thursday morning (Jul 7), even as Wall Street was in the green.

The Straits Times Index (STI) slipped 0.1 per cent or 4.37 points to 3,099.29 as at 9.01 am. Decliners outnumbered advancers 55 to 45 after 25.5 million securities worth S$39.3 million changed hands.

Engineering services company NauticAWT was the top traded counter by volume, surging 22.2 per cent or S$0.002 to S$0.011 with some 3.3 million shares traded in the morning.

Index stock Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was also heavily traded, rising 0.5 per cent or S$0.005 to S$0.935 with 1.8 million shares changing hands.

On Wednesday night, the group announced that it has clinched orders for 4 units of 8,000 TEU liquefied natural gas dual-fuel containerships from repeat customer Pacific International Lines, bringing the total number of new orders secured this year to 16 vessels worth US$990 million.

Other heavily traded securities include Golden Agri-Resources, which closed flat at S$0.255 with 1.6 million shares traded, as well as Jiutian Chemical, which saw 1.3 million shares changing hands at the open as it held its unchanged S$0.088 share price.

The trio of local banks were all lower in early trade. As at 9.01 am, DBS lost 0.4 per cent or S$0.12 to S$29.88, UOB opened 0.3 per cent or S$0.09 lower at S$26.31 and OCBC slid 0.4 per cent or S$0.04 to S$11.30.

In the US, Wall Street stocks gained on Wednesday after Federal Reserve minutes reiterated the tough stance on inflation and a services industry survey showed slowing but steady growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2 per cent at 31,037.68. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to 3,845.08, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also climbed 0.4 per cent to 11,361.85.

Prior to the minutes, stocks had been in the red, after the Institute for Survey Management's services index fell 0.6 percentage point to 55.3 per cent.

European shares also rallied on Wednesday on easing energy supply worries as Norwegian oil and gas workers ended their strike. Amazon also agreed to buy a stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com's Grubhub business, resulting in a 15.5 per cent spike in the stock.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 1.7 per cent, after ending 2.1 per cent lower in the previous session when the strike in Norway threatened to cut energy supplies and severely dented the euro, which continued its slide on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks rose on Thursday morning following the US Federal's Reserve's commitment to combat inflation.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.7 per cent, or 179.41 points, to 26,287.06 in early trade, while the broader Topix index advanced 0.8 per cent, or 11.15 points, at 1,867.12. 

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