Singapore stocks drift lower; Financials hit

Safe-haven yen and gold gained ground as North Korea test-fires ballistic missile .

People watching electronic board. Reuters

Singapore equities fell on Tuesday, dragged lower by financial stocks such as OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank, with shares in Asia mixed after a stellar first half.

Safe haven assets such as the yen and gold strengthened after North Korea test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile toward Japan. Crude oil prices halted an eight-day rally.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher, led by financials and energy shares.

U.S. markets are closed on Tuesday for the independence day holiday.

At 05:26 GMT, the Straits Times Index fell 0.51 percent or 16 points to 3,207. It ended 0.09 percent lower on Monday, taking the year-to-date gains to 11.9 percent.

Lenders were the biggest drag on the SGX, with OCBC Bank, DB Group and United Overseas Bank down between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent.

Shares of Disa, a maker of foundry machinery and filters, declined 7 percent after Monday's rally while Great Eastern Shipping dropped 2 percent.

Among the gainers, chemical maker Jiutian Chemical surged 13 percent while KrisEnergy gained 5.4 percent.

About 813 million shares worth S$455 million changed hands, with losers outnumbering gainers 224 to 142.