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Singapore shares drop 0.4% on Wednesday

MARKETS in Asia were mixed as investors were jittery on reports that there were renewed tensions between the US and China during trade negotiations and remained cautious ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy decision later in the day.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) pared Tuesday's gains to close 13.26 points or 0.4 per cent lower at 3,207.66. 

A lack of catalysts and tepid growth prospects meant that there were low volatility and a low turnover. As such, trading clocked in a muted 903.21 million securities worth S$974.99 million. Decliners outnumbered advancers 198 to 160.

Thomson Medical Group was the bourse's most active counter with 47 million shares traded. Shares in the medical group ended the session flat at 7.8 Singapore cents.

Eleven of the STI's 30 constituents ended the day in the black. Among them, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the blue-chip index's most traded. The counter ended the session two Singapore cents or 1.3 per cent higher at S$1.52 with 34.4 million shares changing hands. 

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Going by value of trades done, DBS Group Holdings saw S$67.79 million traded - 7 per cent of the bourse's value of securities traded - across 2.68 million shares. The bank's shares fell seven Singapore cents or 0.3 per cent at S$25.35.

The other local banks also dipped on the day. OCBC Bank ended nine Singapore cents or 0.8 per cent lower at S$11.18 and United Overseas Bank closed S$0.26 or 1 per cent lower at S$25.30.

Oil prices dipped on Wednesday on concerns over the uncertainty of a US-China trade resolution, which may affect global economic growth prospects. This saw counters like Rex International drop 0.1 Singapore cent or 1.2 per cent to close at 8.1 Singapore cents, while KrisEnergy dropped 0.3 Singapore cent or 5.4 per cent at 5.3 Singapore cents.

Best World International shares surged to close S$0.29 or 12.6 per cent higher at S$2.60 on news that PwC has been appointed by the firm to examine its franchise model.

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