Singapore stocks kick off trading week in the red, STI down 0.4%
Monday, August 15, 2022       18:37 WIB

LOCAL shares took a hit on the first trading day of the week, as investors kept a close eye on key global economic issues such as inflation rates, the tensions in Taiwan, as well as potential further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
On the Singapore bourse, the benchmark Straits Times Index shed 0.4 per cent or 12.45 points on Monday (Aug 15) to end at 3,256.82. Across the broader market, decliners narrowly inched past advancers 238 to 229. Daily turnover came in at just over 1.6 billion securities worth a collective S$1.1 billion.
Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Bank, said all eyes are on the Fed's upcoming meeting on Aug 17.
"Given that the weaker-than-forecast headline inflation were due mainly to lower pump prices and energy costs which offset increases in the sub-indices for food and shelter, it might be premature to declare that the Fed's fight to contain inflation is won, especially given the still-resilient US labour market. The unchanged core inflation reading still hint at firm underlying demand pull pressures," he said.
He noted that in the previous trading week, market participants "chose not to heed warnings from several Fed officials" that US inflation was still unacceptably high, and that the Fed would need to continue to raise rates and that the fight against inflation is far from over.
In Singapore, a number of top gainers were those who had announced an improvement in financial results in the later part of last week.
Semiconductor player AEM : AWX +5.48% was the top gainer on Monday, as investors took their cue from the company's upbeat financial results for H1 ended June. The company on Friday reported earnings of S$82.8 million versus S$29.6 million in the corresponding year-ago period, and said it was on track for a "record year". The stock on Monday gained 5.5 per cent or S$0.24 to S$4.62.
Investors also piled into Straits Trading : S20 +6.86% after the company declared a special dividend on the back of strong H1 results. The stock ended Monday at S$3.27, up 6.9 per cent or S$0.21.
City Developments : C09 +1.32%, which swung into the black for H1 with a record S$1.1 billion profit from a net loss of S$32.1 million in the year-ago period, was another top gainer. The counter added 1.3 per cent or S$0.11 to S$8.45.
Jardine Matheson Holdings : J36 -2.09% was the biggest loser of the day, shedding 2.1 per cent or US$1.07 to US$50.13. Jardine Cycle and Carriage : C07 -1.86% was another top decliner, falling 1.9 per cent or S$0.58 to S$30.61.
Sembcorp Marine : S51 -3.6% was the most actively traded counter for the day, with some 248.3 million shares changing hands. The counter closed at S$0.107, down 3.6 per cent or S$0.004.

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