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Singapore shares gain 0.2% on Thursday

MARKET sentiment on Thursday revolved around investor caution over the outlook for global growth, US-China trade and the Chinese finance minister's comments that Beijing was not keen on broad easing to counter its slowing growth.

These factors sent most markets in Asia lower.

However, in Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) added 6.64 points or 0.2 per cent to close at 3,229.48.

Trading on the Singapore bourse worked out to about 896.85 million securities worth S$948.95 million, low even by recent standards. The average value per security traded was S$1.05. Decliners outnumbered advancers 219 to 181.

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A higher average value per security traded might suggest that pennies were less in play on the day but on 45.3 million shares traded on Thursday, Nico Steel was the bourse's most traded stock for a second day in succession. Its shares finished 0.1 Singapore cent or 16.7 per cent lower at 0.5 Singapore cent with the total value of the trades at roughly S$230,000.

Nineteen of the STI's 30 constituents ended the day in the black. Among them, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the blue-chip index's most traded. It ended the session four Singapore cents or 2.9 per cent higher at S$1.42 with 34.7 million shares changing hands.

Among financials, DBS Group Holdings closed four Singapore cents or 0.2 per cent lower at S$25.32, OCBC Bank dropped two Singapore cents or 0.2 per cent to S$11.20, but United Overseas Bank ended seven Singapore cents or 0.3 per cent up at S$25.17.

Tech counters were mixed, with Venture Corp finishing S$0.53 or 2.8 per cent lower at S$18.70 and AEM Holdings ending the day one Singapore cent or 0.8 per cent down at S$1.20. Meanwhile, Hi-P International added two Singapore cents or 1.3 per cent to close at S$1.56.