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Singapore stocks finish lower; traders switch out of local banks into China banks in HK

DESPITE a jump in the Dow futures, the Straits Times Index (STI) was weak throughout Tuesday's session, most likely due to traders switching out of Singapore banks and into China banks trading in Hong Kong (or H-shares as they are known), following news over the weekend that the People's Bank of China has cut its reserve ratio requirements for banks that provide loans for small businesses.

This possibility arose because falls in the three banks here were largely responsible for the STI's 16.02-point loss to 3,246.08 and because of the Hang Seng's 618.91-point or 2.3 per cent jump to 28,173.21, about 285 points or almost half came from rises in China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China.

China Construction Bank in particular, jumped HK$0.38 or 5.9 per cent to HK$6.86, adding 130 points to the Hang Seng.

Here, turnover amounted to two billion units worth S$1 billion, of which S$171 million came from trading of DBS, UOB and OCBC. Excluding warrants, there were 208 rises versus 231 falls.

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