Bulls And Bears

Region ends mixed after major Wall Street indexes largely retreat

• US tech stocks take biggest hit amid worry over borrowing rates • SIA surges 5.9% to end at $4.65, its highest since last March • STI rises 0.3%; 2.95b shares worth $1.55b traded overall

Singapore stocks rose yesterday amid mixed trading across the region. The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 0.3 per cent to close at 2,890.7.

Elsewhere in Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 per cent, while the Kospi in South Korea closed 0.3 per cent lower. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 1 per cent, and Australia's ASX 200 rose 0.9 per cent. Markets in Japan were closed for a holiday.

Overnight on Wall Street, major indexes largely retreated, with tech stocks taking the biggest hit amid concerns that borrowing rates will creep higher. The S&P 500 slipped 0.8 per cent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite fell 2.5 per cent on Monday.

Mr Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi, said in a note: "Investors are quickly rediscovering that not all stocks are created equal in a Covid recovery, as expensive tech names (are sold) to provide funds for less expensive travel-related markers, along with energy and other inflation beneficiaries."

Singapore Airlines surged 5.9 per cent to close at $4.65, its highest since last March. Its shares were the most actively traded by value, with over 32 million shares worth $146 million changing hands.

Fellow aviation-related counter Sats was also among the top three gainers on the index, rising 4.9 per cent to close at $4.31.

Thomson Medical Group was the most active counter, with over 246 million shares worth $27.3 million changing hands. It gained 0.9 per cent to close at 11.1 cents.

At the bottom of the performance table for the STI was Wilmar International, which fell 2.2 per cent to $5.39.

Overall trading volume yesterday stood at 2.95 billion shares worth $1.55 billion, with gainers outnumbering decliners 236 to 225.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2021, with the headline 'Region ends mixed after major Wall Street indexes largely retreat'. Subscribe