STI bucks regional trend to close marginally higher

Rising bond yields sent investors scurrying for the exit. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Local shares dodged the bullet that caught key regional indexes on Thursday (March 4) and triggered a sea of red ink from Shanghai to South Korea.

Rising bond yields sent investors scurrying for the exit, raising broader fears that the bull run maybe heading for a sudden stop.

The Shanghai Composite Index was 2.05 per cent lower while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 2.15 per cent and the Kospi in Seoul reported a dip of 1.28 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 2.13 per cent, the ASX in Australia was 0.84 per cent lower while shares across the Causeway kept losses to a relatively minor 0.45 per cent.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) was the standout exception in the region, rising 0.48 per cent or 14.41 points to 3,014.78 points.

Losers still out-paced gainers 251 to 217 on trade of 3.12 billion shares worth $1.64 billion.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley noted that the technical pictures have been screaming downside correction for some time on a number of key equity markets, and he believes that global bourses are on the cusp of a correction.

He also pointed out that North Asian markets - the prime beneficiaries of the recovery from the March 2020 lows - were being heavily sold alongside the technology-heavy S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes on Wall Street.

Asean markets, however, being made up of "dull" banks, property and resource stocks, were holding their own.

Shares in Catalist-listed Union Gas were up 5.8 per cent to 73 cents, making it one of the better performers as investors responded to the fuel player's announcement that it is assessing the potential of redeveloping its fuel station into a multi-fuels and energy facility.

Top Glove slipped 3.53 per cent to $1.64, even as DBS maintains "overweight" on Malaysia's health care.

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