Singapore stocks end lower on Tuesday

Singapore, Sep 29 (IANS) Singapore shares closed 0.14 percent lower on Tuesday as investors dumped shares following plunging commodity prices.

Commodity and energy stocks led declines on continued concerns about a global slowdown. Global commodity stocks fell sharply overnight after the Swiss mining-and-trading company Glencore PCL’ s share price slumped in London on concerns about its debt load as commodity prices tumbled, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for China’s National Bureau of Statistics last week expanded the definition of the “around seven percent” 2015 gross domestic product (GDP) growth target to include a range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent, triggering investors who interpreted the new definition as “China’s GDP may fall to 6.5 percent in the worst case” to dump shares in Hong Kong, further dampening the market sentiment across the region.

DBS Group Research said: “We think it’s a little early to jump into the market right now as sentiment continues to stay cautious ahead of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) policy meeting and third-quarter GDP release around mid-October. A technical ‘ undershoot’ within this period towards 2,660 points is possible but should be followed by a rebound to 2,870 points.”

Singapore’s benchmark Straits Times Index dropped 3.98 points to 2,787.94 points. Trading volume was 1.23 billion shares worth 1.28 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 271 to 126, while 538 stocks did not move.

Among top actives, Noble Group dived at 10.1 percent to 40 Singapore cents. The commodities trader took cue from Glencore’s shares plunge overnight, and by now has been pummeled as much as 66 percent this year.

Investors were concerned that Glencore’s high debt load will lead to downgrades from credit-ratings firms and cripple its debt-fueled trading business. On Monday, Glencore’ s shares plunged 29 percent, its biggest one-day decline since it went public in 2011.

Croesus Retail Trust shed 2.9 percent to 83.5 Singapore cents. The Japan-focused real estate investment trust announced a rights offer to part-fund an acquisition in Japan. It planned to raise 69.7 million Singapore dollars in the 22-for-100 rights issue of its units.

The trust is offering its units at 61 Singapore cents each, a 29.1 percent discount to the closing price on Monday. It also announced a deal to buy Torius Property, a large-scale suburban mall in Hisayama-Machi, about 13 kilometers from central Fukuoka City.

Among the top gainers, ST Engineering jumped 4.2 percent to 2.96 Singapore dollars, whereas Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 1.1 percent to $47 ($1 equals 1.43 Singapore dollars).

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