Singapore shares close slightly lower on Tuesday, STI down 0.1%

Among the STI constituents, Dairy Farm was the biggest advancer. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore shares finished Tuesday (Dec 15) slightly lower as counters on the bourse traded sideways as investor optimism remained muted.

The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 1.42 points or 0.1 per cent to 2,856.72, after 2.18 billion securities worth $1.37 billion changed hands. Decliners outnumbered advancers 248 to 189.

Regional stock markets mostly closed lower too. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.2 per cent; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.7 per cent, and the Singapore Stock Exchange Composite Index dipped 0.1 per cent. Malaysia's KLCI bucked the trend, rising 0.7 per cent.

Mr Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, noted that despite talks of vaccines and a US relief Bill, stock markets were "not exactly firing higher".

He said: "Unless policymakers over-deliver on market expectation, especially at this time of year when our risk-taking proclivities give way to profit-taking, it seems virus-related economic restrictions will never cease to weigh as the market continues to straddle that fence between hope and reality."

Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings came out tops for the day. The former gained 1.2 per cent or US$0.65 to US$56.60, while the latter added 2.4 per cent or US$0.61 to finish the day at US$26.44.

Among the STI constituents, Dairy Farm was the biggest advancer. The counter closed at US$4.25, up 2.4 per cent or US$0.10.

At the other end of the spectrum, ComfortDelGro was among the biggest constituent losers, shedding 1.8 per cent or three cents to $1.68.

The trio of lenders ended the day mixed.

OCBC fell 0.2 per cent or two cents to $10.11, while UOB lost 0.1 per cent or 3 cents to close at $22.89. DBS, however, gained 0.04 per cent or one cent to $25.46.

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