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Singapore shares decline at Wednesday's open; STI down 0.1% to 3,219.37

SINGAPORE stocks opened lower on Wednesday, with the Straits Times Index inching down 0.13 per cent or 4.34 points to 3,219.37 as at 9.02am, despite US stocks reclaiming some lost ground overnight from Monday's steep sell-off. 

All three major US indexes closed in the black, although they pared gains late on Tuesday. This came after US President Donald Trump reiterated that China was still interested to ink a trade deal with the US, and investors were heartened by a tonal shift in US-China trade rhetoric.

On the Singapore bourse, gainers and losers were evenly matched, with 56 securities up to 55 down, after 36 million securities worth S$93.8 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Singtel retreated 1 per cent or three Singapore cents to S$3.12, with 3.1 million shares traded. 

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The local telco posted a 0.4 per cent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit to S$773 million on Wednesday morning before the market opened, though full-year profit plunged 43.5 per cent to S$3.09 billion, mainly due to an "exceptional gain" in the previous year from its NetLink Trust divestment, and lower contributions from the trust as a result. 

Meanwhile, Mapletree Logistics Trust advanced 2.1 per cent or three Singapore cents to S$1.49, with 2.8 million shares traded.

Other active stocks included Cosco Shipping Singapore, which rose 1.6 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to 32.5 Singapore cents; and Hi-P International, which gained 1.6 per cent or two Singapore cents to S$1.29.