STI ends lower for the week, down 0.06%

The Straits Times Index ended 0.06 per cent or 1.86 points lower at 3,184.54. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Local shares ended the week lower on Friday (April 9) despite a positive Wall Street session overnight that was boosted by gains in big technology stocks.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) ended 0.06 per cent or 1.86 points lower at 3,184.54 with losers outpacing gainers 247 to 227 on trade of 1.69 billion shares worth $1.04 billion.

Key regional markets were a mixed bag. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 1.07 per cent, Seoul's Kospi fell 0.36 per cent while the Jakarta Composite was down 0.02 per cent. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 per cent and the Kuala Lumpur Composite gained 0.61 per cent.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley noted: "Fed chairman Jerome Powell stayed solidly on message overnight, emphasising once again the Fed's priority in assisting the US employment recovery while dismissing inflation concerns as transitory."

Still, Asian markets are "once again adopting a more cautious posture" as cyclicals under-performed overnight in New York, he added.

ST Engineering ruled at the top of STI, rising 2.3 per cent to $3.99. JPMorgan said in a Thursday report that it would be moving ST Engineering to an "overweight" rating with a December 2021 price target of $4.80.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the worst-performing on the STI, slipping 1.5 per cent to $1.29.

The most heavily traded stock by volume on the index was Thai Beverage, which ended 0.7 per cent lower at 77 cents after around 28.1 million shares changed hands.

Outside of the STI, investment holding company Mercurius Capital Investment saw heavy trading after the Catalist-listed firm proposed to acquire 10 grocery businesses in Malaysia for $36 million.

The stock climbed 7.7 per cent to seven cents after 135.2 million shares changed hands.

Likewise, mining company BlackGold Natural Resources rallied on heavy volume following its proposed acquisition of Tengri Coal and Energy for $1 billion. Its shares soared 12.5 per cent to 1.8 cents with over 74.2 million changing hands.

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