Bulls And Bears

Fed meeting, Evergrande worries weigh on Singapore shares

Losers lead gainers 200 to 169, as STI dips to 3,048.05 * Regional markets end mixed, with Shanghai leading gainers * Net institutional inflow hits $260m, highest in 3 weeks

Local shares dipped yesterday as investors played it safe with storm clouds threatening on three fronts.

Much focus was on a key United States central bank meeting that could provide signals on the much-monitored tapering front.

There were also the usual worries over the Evergrande Group's debt saga and the spread of the Delta variant.

It was no great surprise when the Straits Times Index slipped 15.15 points or 0.49 per cent to 3,048.05 after extended losses on Wall Street overnight.

Turnover came in at 1.62 billion shares worth $1.22 billion with losers beating gainers 200 to 169.

Regional bourses closed mixed. China, which returned from a two-day holiday, saw its key gauge, the Shanghai Composite, reversing from losses to close 0.4 per cent higher. Contagion fears over Evergrande were somewhat cushioned by a cash injection from the People's Bank of China.

The Hong Kong and South Korean markets were closed.

Equity benchmarks in Japan and Malaysia retreated, and Australian shares gained 0.3 per cent on the back of mining strength.

Maybank FX Research reckoned that clarity and reassurance on the taper schedule and policy normalisation from the US Federal Open Market Committee would remove uncertain elements and restore stability in the markets.

Singapore's rising Covid-19 cases continue to be closely watched.

IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong noted: "The ICU (intensive care unit) capacity will be on watch as a key determinant for whether there will be further restrictions to come.

"That said, the latest SGX fund flow report reveals a net institutional inflow of $260 million, the highest in three weeks."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2021, with the headline 'Fed meeting, Evergrande worries weigh on Singapore shares'. Subscribe