SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Singapore shares declined after a few days of registering gains, with the market barometer Straits Times Index (STI) closing 0.85 per cent or 25.62 points down to 2,991.53 on Friday (Jan 22).

The index dipped by about 0.44 per cent over the week.

Of the STI constituents, only four – the three Jardine companies and Venture Corp – notched gains. Ascendas real estate investment trust, Genting Singapore and Mapletree Logistics Trust ended flat, the remaining 23 in the red.

Oanda’s senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said rising property prices have fuelled speculation of new price control measures. That could weigh on Singapore equities over the next few days, given that most of the STI stocks are banks and property companies.

Decliners outnumbered advancers on the broader market at 269 to 229, with 2.93 billion securities worth S$1.53 billion changing hands. The biggest STI decliner was property developer City Developments, which lost 2.21 per cent to wrap up trading at S$7.51.

Isetan’s (Singapore) shares registered a 9.38 per cent gain to S$3.50 when it requested a trading halt at about 3.20pm. In a regulatory filing after the market closed, it said it is exploring options regarding Wisma Atria, and may appoint property agents and valuers to assist it or start exploratory discussions on the matter.

Jiutian Chemical was the most active counter, as it beat Oceanus Group in the last trading hour with 235 million shares traded and its price up 3.7 per cent to 11.2 cents.

Regionally, most markets declined.

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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.60 per cent to 29,447.85 points, the Shanghai Composite Index was 0.40 per cent lower at 3,606.75 points, Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.44 per cent to 28,631.45.

But the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index inched up 0.12 per cent to 1,596.74 points.





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