SINGAPORE, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed down a modest 0.03 percent on Tuesday, as uncertainties about the bailout prospect for Spain undermined investors' risk appetite.
Spain has come under renewed pressure from the markets, and risks a downgrade of its sovereign debt rating to junk status by ratings agency Moody's, which is expected to announce its review soon. Madrid also faces a 27.5 billion euros (35.5 billion U.S. dollars) refinancing at the end of October.
Spain has not made clear whether it would seek an external sovereign bailout or not, and European Union officials said Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was not expected to do so before a regional election on Oct. 21.
OCBC Investment Research said it did not see a very quick resolution on the European Union side.
"We could continue to grind down. There is not really a lot of positive news," it added.
The benchmark Straits Times Index lost 0.8 points to close at 3, 067.13. Trading volume was 1.73 billion shares worth 1.36 billion Singapore dollars (1.11 billion U.S. dollars). Advancers outnumbered decliners 223 to 189, while 544 stocks closed unchanged.
Among the top actives, AusGroup soared 20.7 percent to close at 49.5 Singapore cents. The company providing construction services to the mining as well as oil and gas industries said it is looking to list on the Australian Securities Exchange. It will de-merge all of its subsidiaries into a group headed by AGC Australia. It will then seek a sole listing of AGC on Australian Securities Exchange, while AusGroup will remain listed on the Singapore Exchange.
Wilmar International rose 1.6 percent to close at 3.24 Singapore dollars. Kellogg, the U.S. cereal maker, is expanding its presence in China's fast-growing breakfast and snack foods market through a joint venture with Wilmar, months after Kellogg sold its stake in a cookie and cracker manufacturer in the country.
DBS inched up 0.2 percent to close at 14.38 Singapore dollars. The Southeast Asia's largest bank said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Export Import Bank of Korea to work together in infrastructure and project financing.
Rotary Engineering sank 89.9 percent to close at 46 Singapore cents. The Singapore oil and gas services firm said it expects a net loss for the third quarter ending Sept. 30 mainly due to additional costs that significantly affected gross margins at a project in Saudi Arabia.
Among the top gainers, Gold ETF rose 0.5 percent to close at 171.48 U.S. dollars, whereas Jardine Cycle and Carriage became one of the top losers by falling 0.7 percent to close at 48.8 Singapore dollars (1 U.S. dollar = 0.775 euros, 1 U.S. dollar = 1. 23 Singapore dollars)