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Saturday, 28 July 2007

Singapore shares close 2.4% lower following Wall Street slump

SINGAPORE - Singapore share prices closed 2.4 percent lower on Friday, falling sharply in line with other regional bourses after one of Wall Street's worst sell-offs overnight, dealers said.

The Straits Times Index was down 87.03 points at 3,492.70, its lowest finish since June 8.

Overall volume was 4.11 billion shares worth S$4.11 billion, with losers leading gainers 933 to 139 and 491 stocks remaining unchanged.

US shares plunged Thursday by more than 300 points, with investors gripped by anxiety over the housing market.

Those losses, coupled with lacklustre local corporate results from DBS Group Holdings and Chartered Semiconductor, prompted investors to dump shares, dealers said.

CIMB-GK Research said a technical analysis of global equity markets showed signs of an impending major correction.

"Stock markets in Europe and the US have started to correct and weekly indicators have turned negative," CIMB-GK said in a research note. "Asia (excluding Japan) still looks strong, but may not be able to buck the trend if US and Europe continue consolidating in the coming weeks."

DBS Group Holdings, Southeast Asia's biggest bank, fell S$0.30 to S$22.40, after saying its second-quarter net profit dipped 7.0 percent year-on-year to S$560 million.

Shares in other financial institutions fell in turn, with United Overseas Bank shedding S$0.80 to S$21.70 and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp down S$0.15 to S$9.05.

Property stocks extended their falls, with CapitaLand off S$0.15 at S$7.05.

Chartered Semiconductor lost S$0.05 to S$1.20 after the company reported a net loss of US$24.7 million in the second quarter. - AFP/ir

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