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Singapore shares close weaker for the day but STI unchanged for the week

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ACCORDING to conventional wisdom, it wasn't Brexit fallout that dragged the Straits Times Index 15.13 points down on Friday to 2,847.04 but a 5 per cent plunge in oil prices.

According to Macquarie Warrants in its daily newsletter, the drop in oil was due to growing concerns that a glut of petrol is due to persist. "Although petrol demand usually peak in the summer as people go on road trips more frequently, this year, refineries have already been producing petrol so the market is amply supplied," said MW.

Then again, the STI had held up remarkably well in the fortnight after Britain voted to leave the European Union, its traditional reputation as a "defensive" play probably standing it in good stead. So maybe softer oil provided the excuse to take some money off the table. Whatever the case, the STI closed virtually unchanged over the week - not too bad considering the turmoil that Brexit was supposed to unleash.

Over the four trading days this week, Singtel stood out by virtue of its resilience despite Friday's S$0.03 fall to S$4.14 on volume of 41.2 million. It was still unchanged for the week. Banks were less fortunate - all three weakened on Thursday and Friday.

Friday's volume was a weak 1.5 billion units worth S$887 million, the lowest of the four trading days. Excluding warrants there were 152 rises versus 223 falls.