SINGAPORE Feb 3 Singapore shares hit their lowest in five months on Monday, pressured by concerns over a slowdown in China's economy after growth in the country's services sector slowed to a five-year low in January.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell for a third consecutive session, and was down 1 percent at 2,995.5 by 0500 GMT, the lowest since Aug. 28, 2013. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.3 percent lower.
China's official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 53.4 in January from December's 54.6, putting further strains on the market, as pressures from the massive sell-off in emerging markets show little sign of abating.
Real estate companies CapitaMall Asia Ltd and Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd led the decline, with Hongkong Land falling as much as 3 percent to a one-month low of S$5.84. Shares of CapitaMall Asia slid 2.8 percent to an intra-day low of S$1.71, the lowest since June 2013.
Among other stocks, shares of Genting Singapore Plc declined 2.5 percent to an intra-day low of S$1.35, its lowest in nearly five months.
Brokerage Maybank Kim Eng maintained its "sell" rating on shares of Genting Singapore and a target price of S$1.31. Genting Singapore saw 17 percent year-on-year contraction of VIP volume in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"The only silver lining is that the Japanese casino liberalization process may be fast tracked by a year," said Maybank. "Nonetheless, we believe the consensus is too bullish on Genting Singapore's earnings outlook."