Singapore shares closed up 0.05 percent, as investors turned cautious after the People's Bank of China (PBOC) drained liquidity from the banking system for the second time this month.
The concern about the tightening of China's central bank policy came when PBOC offered 48 billion Chinese yuan of 14-day repurchase agreements in an open market operation on Tuesday, a week after it took a net 450 billion Chinese yuan drain from the banking system through reverse repurchase agreement maturities.
The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 1.5 points to close at 3, 070.78 points. Trading volume was 2.99 billion shares worth 915 million Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 267 to 150, while 524 stocks closed unchanged.
DBS Group Research said "with the likelihood of a trough at 2, 950 points and the current rebound still having around 100 points more to go before 3,150 points, traders should bargain hunt on minor dips. Technically, we peg Straits Times Index support around 3,000 points."
Among top actives, Armarda Group sank 11.1 percent to 0.8 Singapore cents. It is partnering with Chinese marine navigation and communications systems and handheld fisheries rescue terminals, Zoeru (Fujian) Communications, to deliver marine-based mobile satellite solutions for Chinese marine fisheries vessels and personnel.
KS Energy rose 1 percent to 49 Singapore cents. It has secured a contract for the provision of a new drilling rig in Vietnam for Vietsovpetro. The contract is for a period of one year with an option to extend for an additional one year and is due to commence in second quarter this year. The total value of the contract, excluding the potential extension, is approximately 58 million U.S. dollars.
Singapore Airlines fell 0.5 percent to 9.94 Singapore dollars. In January, its system-wide passenger carriage increased 2.2 percent against capacity growth of 1.3 percent. Consequently, passenger road factor increased 0.8 percentage points to 79.1 percent.
OSIM International lost 2.1 percent to 2.33 Singapore dollars. It has been served a writ of summons by The Wellness Group and its chairman, Manoj Murjani, over its shares in TWG Tea. The claim in the writ of summons relates to the recent subscription by OSIM and Paris Investment of the shares in TWG Tea and other disputes. The Wellness Group and Manoj claimed that the issuance of shares was an act of minority oppression and is in breach of the terms of the shareholders agreement dated March 18, 2011, entered into between OSIM, Paris Investment, The Wellness Group, and TWG Tea. Last month, OSIM raised its stake in the luxury tea company to 70 percent.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 0.5 percent to 55 U.S. dollars, while Sarin Technologies became one of the top losers by falling 3.5 percent to 2.22 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 6.068 Chinese yuan and 1.26 Singapore dollars)