Asian stocks ignore Wall Street lead to end lower; STI ends flat

An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai on March 16, 2017.
An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai on March 16, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Asian stocks mostly closed lower, ignoring a strong lead from Wall Street, which closed at a record as tech stocks halted their sharp declines and rebounded.

Investors had few cues to trade on Wednesday (June 14) as Chinese economic data failed to give the market a fillip, and traders were awaiting the United States Federal Reserve's interest rate decision, set to be announced early this morning Singapore time.

"The China data today somehow failed to provide clues on the strength of the country's economic recovery," Mr John Teja, a director at Indonesian brokerage Ciptadana Sekuritas, told Bloomberg. "So investors will shift their attention to the Fed's statement today and try to find out their policy trajectory."

Chinese industrial output rose 6.5 per cent from a year earlier in May, matching the gain posted in April.

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The local benchmark Straits Times Index ended the day flat, edging down just 4.09 points or 0.13 per cent to 3,253.43.

Most other Asian bourses were also little changed. Tokyo fell 0.08 per cent, while Seoul declined 0.09 per cent and Hong Kong rose 0.09 per cent.

Shanghai dropped 0.73 per cent.

Noble Group was back in the spotlight, slipping two cents to 30.5 cents.

The embattled commodity firm's former chief executive officer, Yusuf Alireza, has filed a lawsuit against founder Richard Elman, claiming that he's owed at least HK$450 million (S$49.6 million) in stock.

Property stocks declined, even as flash estimates from SRX Property show that resale prices of non-landed private homes rose 0.4 per cent from April to May.

CapitaLand fell two cents to $3.60, City Developments dropped nine cents to $10.70, Wheelock Properties slipped two cents to $1.875 and Wing Tai edged down 2.5 cents to $1.985.

OCBC Investment Research, however, reiterated its "overweight" rating on the property sector.