Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Singapore stocks close lower as oil stocks take a beating

A NERVOUS silence reigned in most dealing rooms on Tuesday, as markets kept wary eyes cocked in China's direction and as traders stayed away in droves, worried that China's stock market plunges of the past week are not yet over.
The relentless slide in oil prices meant heavy selling of offshore and marine (O&M) stocks, which in turn dragged the Straits Times Index (STI) 17.07 points lower to 2,691.78, its sixth loss in seven sessions so far this year.
Turnover amounted to 1.8 billion units worth S$1.02 billion, of which S$743 million or 73 per cent was done in the 30 STI components. Clearly, institutions and programme traders were active, even if retail players were not. Excluding warrants, there were 148 rises versus 273 falls.
"Today should have been cancelled due to a lack of interest," said a retail trading representative. "After Monday, we should have skipped Tuesday altogether and gone straight to Wednesday."