Bulls And Bears

Asian stocks end lower despite Wall St gains

China data fails to give market a fillip as investors await US Fed's policy decision

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

Investors had few cues to trade on 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 its policy trajectory."

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

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 is owed at least HK$450 million (S$80 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.

The brokerage said in a note that while the physical oversupply situation in the domestic residential market will balance out only next year and after, "we recognise that an increase in collective sale transactions could bring forward the recovery in home prices as developers move quickly to replenish their land banks, which for many now lie at multi-year lows".

Starburst Holdings climbed two cents to 36.5 cents.

The engineering group, which designs and engineers firearms-training facilities, on Tuesday said it had formed a strategic partnership with Swiss Securitas Group, which will help it expand its business in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Furniture maker Lorenzo International slid 0.3 cent to 2.9 cents. Its unit Supreme Furnishing Centre has made an option to purchase a Chinese furniture firm for $3.87 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2017, with the headline 'Asian stocks end lower despite Wall St gains'. Print Edition | Subscribe