Singapore shares closed 0.2 percent lower on Monday, as investors turned cautious on the European Central Bank's new bond buying scheme.
The European Central Bank is considering setting yield band targets under the bond buying program to shield its strategy from speculators, but the decision would not be made before its September 6 policy meeting.
With the Euro-zone's fiscal woes taking a deeper toll on the global economy, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said over weekend that China will implement new measures aimed at stabilizing export growth in the third quarter.
Investors will also be seeking clues from Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke when he delivers a speech at a central banker and economist meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, ahead of the Federal Reserve Board's September 12 to 13 policy meeting. Bernanke has used the Jackson Hole event the previous two years to flag the Fed's intention on more easing. Bernanke is due to speak on this Friday.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 6 points to close at 3, 044.49 points. Trading volume was 1.33 billion shares worth 1.14 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 219 to 199, while 535 stocks closed unchanged.
Fraser and Neave retreated 1.1 percent to 8.36 Singapore dollars. The Singapore drinks and property conglomerate said it will pay out around 4 billion Singapore dollars to shareholders if they approve the sale of its stake in Asia Pacific Breweries to Heineken. The company also said it will cancel one share for every three shares held by shareholders. In exchange, it will make cash distribution of 8.50 Singapore dollars for each share that is canceled.
KS Energy jumped 5.9 percent to 71.5 Singapore cents. It said its subsidiary, together with its joint operation partner Pertamina Drilling Services Indonesia, will deploy a jack-up drilling rig in Indonesia's West Madura oilfield located offshore of Java. The total value of the one-year contract, including a one- year option, is 87.6 million US dollars.
Far East Hospitality Trust ended at 95 Singapore cents, 1.86 percent above the initial public offering price on their market debut on Monday. The trust, which owns hotels and serviced residences, raised 717.6 million Singapore dollars in the initial public offering, making it the second-largest Singapore offering this year after IHH Healthcare.
Among the top gainers, Sakari Resources soared 27.2 percent to 1.895 Singapore dollars. Thailand's PTT Mining has launched a 1.2 billion Singapore dollars offer for shares in Sakari Resources, as part of the PTT group's strategy to gain complete control of the Singapore-listed coal producer. Keppel Corporation became one of the top losers by falling 1.2 percent to 11.25 Singapore dollars ( 1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.25 Singapore dollars)