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Singapore stocks: STI resumes Monday afternoon at 3,309.89, down 0.4% on day

SINGAPORE stocks resumed trading in negative territory on Monday, with the Straits Times Index slipping 11.51 points, or 0.4 per cent to 3,309.89 as at 1.03pm.

CMC market analyst Margaret Yang noted that the STI has reached a technical resistance at around 3,316 points, which may encourage some profit-taking activities.

"Sentiment will likely turn cautious ahead of the G20 meeting. And it won't take long for investors to find out that recent strengthening in the SGD against the USD will further dampen local exports, manufacturing and the tourism sector.

"Therefore, a Fed interest rate cut might not necessarily be a good thing for the local market, if the Monetary Authority of Singapore take no action to match a broad-based easing monetary policy adopted by other economies," Ms Yang said. 

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On the Singapore bourse, decliners outnumbered gainers 163 to 150, after some 919.9 million securities worth S$489.1 million exchanged hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, AA Group Holdings, which produces and supplies loudspeaker parts, was flat at 1.4 Singapore cents with 107.7 million shares traded; while Rex International gained 4.2 per cent, or 0.3 Singapore cent to 7.5 cents, with 24.5 million shares traded.

Banking stocks were in the red by the afternoon trade - UOB fell 1.3 per cent, or S$0.35 to S$25.97; DBS lost 0.4 per cent, or S$0.09 to S$25.83; and OCBC retreated 0.2 per cent, or S$0.02 to S$11.33.

Other active index stocks included Genting Singapore which lost 1.1 per cent, or one Singapore cent to S$0.92, and City Developments which fell 0.8 per cent, or eight cents to S$9.45.

Elsewhere in Asia, equities traded mixed with Japan's Topix adding 0.1 per cent, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index dipping 0.1 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.2 per cent, whereas China's benchmark Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1 per cent. 

"There's an air of caution in the markets at the start of a week that's bookended by new US sanctions on Iran, and the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi-Jinping. Asian stocks are seeing a mixed Monday morning, while futures for the S&P 500 remain steady, indicating that equity bulls are losing some momentum ahead of a crucial catalyst for risk sentiment," noted FXTM market analyst Han Tan. 

He added that the outcome from the Trump-Xi meeting will bring about significant implications for investors looking to finalise their outlooks for the second half of the year. 

"Markets are expecting to see whether the US-China brinkmanship will give way to a truce that could ease trade tensions, or if markets will still have to contend with the protracted standoff over the coming months," said Mr Tan. 

Over in the commodities space, gold rose 0.2 per cent to US$1,402.44 an ounce, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude futures added 0.7 per cent to US$57.83 a barrel, data from Bloomberg show.