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Singapore shares close marginally weak despite STI rising for 3rd day


THE Straits Times Index on Thursday managed to advance further into the black for 2016 when it rose 23.52 points to 2,913.93, thus bringing its gain for the year to date to 32 points or 1.1 per cent.

Some observers attributed the rise to the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS's) surprise decision to allow a gradual depreciation of the Sing dollar against its basket of currencies.

For example, Rabobank in its daily notes said of the rise in Asian stocks that market sentiment in Asian markets got a boost from Singapore's central bank trying to restart the economy by returning to a policy of zero per cent exchange rate appreciation.

"This is raising speculation that other central banks in the region may follow this path as well," said the bank.

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Whatever the case, it was the third consecutive day that the index rose, bringing its three-day gain to 105 points. The largest rise came on Wednesday after the release of better-than-expected China export figures that also helped push Wall Street higher that day; on Thursday, however, the Dow futures traded about 50 points in the red, capping gains here.

Turnover amounted to 1.05 billion units worth S$1.3 billion, down from Wednesday's S$1.4 billion which was the highest since S$1.7 billion was done on March 18. Excluding warrants, there were 197 rises versus 207 falls, so the broad market was marginally weak.