Singapore shares drop after TPP is killed

Stock photo of people looking at STI stock prices

Singapore shares ended lower on a strong United States dollar, lower oil prices and gloom here over the confirmation that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is doomed.

The Straits Times Index shed 0.97 per cent or 27.33 points to close at 2,787.27.

The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership - by far the biggest trade agreement in more than a decade - was meant to bind the United States and Asia-Pacific nations.

But both presidential candidates had disavowed the TPP and it finally died on Friday as Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress said they would not advance it in the election's aftermath.

But a silver lining remains - in the form of an emerging alternative - the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, known as RCEP, which includes China, Japan and 14 other Asian countries but excludes the US.

Singtel led the index lower, shedding 2.4 per cent or nine cents to $3.68. Other blue chip losers included Jardine Matheson, which slipped 2.3 per cent or US$1.33 to US$55.47 and Jardine Cycle & Carriage which fell 3.5 per cent or $1.39 to $38.86.

Other laggards included Thai Beverage, which lost 1.6 per cent or 1.5 cents to 91.5 cents.

CapitaLand dipped 1.6 per cent or five cents to $3.

The most actively traded counter was investment holdings firm Ipco International following an announcement that it would place out 1.06 billion new shares to private investors to raise some $1.86 million in net proceeds.

At 0.18 cent each, the placement share price is at a discount of about 10 per cent to the price on Nov 9. Ipco closed at 0.2 cent, with 331.9 million shares traded.

Ipco plans to use more than half the money raised for general corporate requirements, including acquisition and funding of potential business opportunities.

The rest will be for general working capital requirements.

Magnus Energy plunged 50 per cent or 0.1 cent to 0.1 cent, with 319.2 million shares. Noble Group dipped 1.5 per cent or 0.3 cent to 19.2 cents, with 139.3 million shares traded.

LionGold was flat at 0.2 cent, with 95.7 million shares traded, while energy management firm Equation Corp lost 9.1 per cent or 0.1 cent to one cent, with 58.4 million shares traded.

Food Empire surged 30 per cent or nine cents to 39 cents, after it posted an improvement in its third quarter net profit to US$5.8 million from US$700,000 last year.

The Singapore food and beverage maker cited more favourable exchange rates coupled with higher selling prices.

gleong@sph.com.sg


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