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STI Ends the Week in the Red

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by Ernie B. Calucag

The blue-chip Straits Times Index (STI) ended the week in the red, in line with most Asian bourses, after the US Federal Reserve failed to commit to any new stimulus measures.

The local index dropped 0.8 per cent Friday to end at 2,737.9; with another day of low volumes as traders sit this volatile period out.

Volume was only 918 million shares with losers leading gainers 235 to 87.

Among Singapore’s biggest counters, commodity player Golden Agri-Resources was the biggest casualty, losing 4.8 per cent to S$0.595; followed by Jardine Cycle & Carriage which ended 3.3 per cent lower at S$42.15.

Olam International fell 2.7 per cent to S$1.625, while Genting Singapore lost 4.3 per cent to S$1.435.

Casino giant Genting announced it had taken a stake in Australian casino rival Echo Entertainment. It could be the start of a battle for control of the Australian gambling company, run by billionaire James Packer.

“Genting is in a solid position for a takeover battle having built up a fighting fund of S$4 billion which it could use on an Australian acquisition. But investors aren’t warming to the idea,” said Justin Harper of IG Markets in Singapore.

Among banks, United Overseas Bank fell 0.7 per cent to S$17.32, DBS declined 1.3 per cent to S$13.05, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp slipped 0.2 per cent to S$8.25.

Across Asia, all major indices were down.

The Nikkei 225 ended the day down 2.1 per cent, its biggest drop for three weeks, while the ASX 200 fell 1.1 per cent. The Shanghai Composite dropped 0.5 per cent while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng drifted 0.9 per cent lower.