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STI underperforms regional benchmark indices on Friday

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended Friday down 63.74 points or 2.6 per cent at 2,389.29 points, ending the week 5.5 per cent lower than where it started.

It was by far the worst performer among Asian markets, which mostly finished flat or registered slight dips.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index was flat, down 0.02 per cent or 0.25 point to close at 1,330.65 points. The Nikkei 225 Index added 0.01 per cent, while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.19 per cent. 

The worst performers among the STI’s constituents were Jardine Cycle & Carriage (C&C) and Jardine Strategic, which fell 5.5 per cent or S$1.07 to S$18.28, and 2.8 per cent or US$0.63 to US$21.60 respectively.

Singapore banks DBS, OCBC and United Overseas Bank (UOB) were also among the hardest-hit stocks, after they slashed several rates on their flagship deposit accounts to better reflect the weaker rate environment globally. 

At Friday’s close, shares in DBS were down S$0.49 or 2.7 per cent to S$17.92; UOB lost S$0.57 or 2.9 per cent to S$18.80; while OCBC lost S$0.25 or 2.9 per cent to finish at S$8.38. 

By percentage, commercial real estate investment trusts (Reits) also ranked among the biggest decliners on the STI.  Mapletree Commercial Trust, which owns VivoCity, fell S$0.12 or 7.4 per cent to S$1.50. Office Reit CapitaLand Commercial Trust fell S$0.10 or 7 per cent to S$1.33, while CapitaLand Mall Trust fell 10 cents or 6.2 per cent to S$1.52.

This was an extension from Thursday’s sell-off after DBS Group Research noted that a proposed Bill to alleviate the financial pressure on local tenants could create significant cash flow uncertainty for the Reits, and that landlords will potentially be saddled with bad debts if tenants were to go bust within six to 12 months.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 333 to 113 for the day, with 1.6 billion shares worth S$1.55 billion changing hands.

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