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Singapore shares close 1.3 points down in low volume


TRADING in the local market on Thursday was much more subdued than in previous sessions, with volume amounting to just 2.4 billion units worth S$988 million, compared with the average of S$1.37 billion done between Monday and Wednesday and the S$1.75 billion traded on Friday last week.

This was evident as the Straits Times Index struggled throughout the day to stay in positive territory before finishing a net 1.31 points down at 2,809.12. It was also the first day since Feb 19 that turnover was less than S$1 billion.

Overseas markets provided little direction - the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite fell slightly, as did the Dow futures, which at 5pm had dropped about 20 points.

The narrowing focus that started to develop at the start of the week continued - the advance-decline score of 186-203 indicating that some 400 counters were either not traded or closed unchanged.

In a March 9 Singapore Property report, Maybank Kim Eng said recent results have shown: 1) impairment of residential and hospitality assets; 2) resilient capital values for commercial assets; and 3) strong China home sales.

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"We suspect there isn't enough pain in Singapore's residential market yet and believe cooling measures may only be lifted in early 2017," said the broker.

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