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Singapore shares edge up at Tuesday's open; STI up 0.2%

SINGAPORE shares opened slightly higher on Tuesday morning, with the Straits Times Index gaining 4.71 points or 0.2 per cent to 3,146.91 as at 9.01am. 

Decliners outnumbered advancers 114 to 68, after about 73.3 million securities worth S$95.1 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was flat at S$1 with 2.8 million shares traded, while Genting Singapore was flat at S$0.87, with 2.5 million shares traded. 

Banking stocks were mostly in the green in the early morning trade. DBS gained S$0.07 or 0.3 per cent to S$24.92, United Overseas Bank was flat at S$25.28, while OCBC Bank rose S$0.07 or 0.6 per cent to S$10.99.

Other active index securities included ST Engineering which advanced S$0.14 or 3.3 per cent to S$4.34 on a cum-dividend basis. This comes after the company on Monday posted a 36.2 per cent rise in its Q4 net profit to S$169.5 million. 

Wilmar International was also up, by S$0.09 or 2.2 per cent to S$4.14, on a cum-dividend basis.

Elsewhere, global stocks had their worst day in two years overnight, as worries mounted that the novel coronavirus might derail economic growth. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 3.6 per cent to 27,960.80, the S&P 500 slumped 3.4 per cent to 3,225.89, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 3.7 per cent to 9,221.28.

Meanwhile in the Asia-Pacific region, stocks extended losses on Tuesday, amid fears that the virus could further cripple global supply chains. Japan's Nikkei shed 3.5 per cent for the biggest drop since late 2018, after its markets reopened following a public holiday on Monday, while Australian stocks lost 1.8 per cent.