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Singapore shares recede 0.2% on Tuesday as China data disappoints

THE Singapore market trended lower, like most other Asian markets, after official Chinese manufacturing PMI readings failed to meet expectations. This brought worries of weakness in the world's second-largest economy, despite Beijing's attempts to spur growth.

"The softer-than-expected leading indicators in April suggests that economic recovery in China remains fragile, and supportive fiscal and monetary policies are still necessary to see through further stabilisation in growth this year. As such, this could dispel market concerns that the Chinese government is scaling back stimulus," UOB economist Ho Woei Chen noted.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index pared some of Monday's gains to enter the midweek break at 3,400.20, down 6.82 points or 0.2 per cent.

Trading clocked in at 911.33 million securities, 72 per cent of the daily average over the first three months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$1.26 billion, 23 per cent higher than the January-to-March daily average. Across the market, decliners outpaced advancers 239 to 153.

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Nineteen of the STI's 30 components ended in the red.

Genting Singapore was the blue-chip index's most traded. The casino operator closed flat at 98.5 Singapore cents with 34.9 million shares changing hands.

The banking trio, which gave the benchmark index a lift to close at a 2019 high of 3,407.02, closed lower on Tuesday. 

DBS Group Holdings closed S$0.15 or 0.5 per cent lower at S$28.25, a day after posting a 9 per cent increase in first-quarter net profit to S$1.65 billion. OCBC Bank dropped two Singapore cents or 0.2 per cent to close at S$12.10 while United Overseas Bank dipped S$0.14 or 0.5 per cent to S$27.83.

Food and beverage firm ThaiBev continued to trade higher, ending Tuesday's trading at at S$0.84, up 0.5 cent or 0.6 per cent.

Among non-STI counters, mainboard-listed China Everbright Water saw its shares slide on heavy volume as the company revealed that it has priced its Hong Kong public offering at HK$2.99 (S$0.52) apiece, following several agreements struck with joint representatives and underwriters for its Hong Kong and international offerings. The counter ended five Singapore cents or 10.2 per cent lower at S$0.44, on 29.9 million shares traded.

Meanwhile, property developer Oxley Holdings shares advanced 2.5 Singapore cents or 8.3 per cent to close at 32.5 Singapore cents after it inked a deal to sell Chevron House for up to S$1.025 billion, just 16 months after acquiring the prime office building in Raffles Place for S$660 million in December 2017.