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Singapore shares fall 0.5% on cautious sentiment, weaker earnings
SINGAPORE shares fell on Thursday, bucking the recovery in most Asian markets, following weaker earnings results and risk aversion ahead of the long National Day weekend.
The Straits Times Index began the day in the red and eventually closed down 0.49 per cent or 15.75 points at 3,168.94. Decliners and advancers were almost evenly matched, with 204 on lower ground versus 194 up.
Turnover on the bourse was slightly over 970 million shares worth S$1.14 billion.
"Investors fled away from the equity market ahead of the four-day National Day holiday break," said CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang. "Uncertainties over trades and weaker growth prospects shown in recent earnings results reined in risk-taking activities."
On Thursday, the benchmark index was dragged by some large caps which had posted disappointing earnings results.
Property giant CapitaLand fell 0.58 per cent or S$0.02 to S$3.45 after recording a 4.2 per cent drop in net profit to S$579.8 million for its second quarter from S$605.5 million a year ago.
This was mainly attributed to one-off transaction costs incurred on the acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge, which was completed on June 28. Ascendas-Singbridge is expected to start contributing to the group's profit or loss from Q3 2019 onwards.
Another real estate heavyweight, City Developments Limited, dropped 0.88 per cent or S$0.08 to S$9.04 following a 26 per cent slide in second-quarter earnings to S$162.4 million.
Singtel also ended lower, shedding 0.91 per cent or S$0.03 to S$3.26, after first-quarter net profit hit a 16-year low. The telco posted a 35 per cent slide in net profit for its first quarter ended June 30 to S$541.1 million, affected by losses at its Indian associate Bharti Airtel, as well as higher depreciation and amortisation costs in network and spectrum across the group.