STI reverses loss to end 0.01% higher

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Local investors took heed of Wall Street's overnight gains to send shares a touch higher on Wednesday (Jan 13) and end a two-day losing streak.

The muted optimism sent the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) up 0.34 points or 0.01 per cent to 2,977.51 with gainers outnumbering losers 279 to 208 on trade of 2.5 billion shares worth $1.55 billion.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said Wall Street's rise was "mostly because US yields remained unchanged", adding that "with the White House quiet and a modest data calendar, that has been enough to green light a rally in Asian equities".

Jardine Cycle & Carriage emerged as top performer among the STI constituents, gaining 3.26 per cent to $22.80.

It was followed by Singapore Airlines (SIA), which rose 2.59 per cent to $4.35.

An SIA spokesperson said on Tuesday night that Covid-19 vaccinations for employees would begin on Wednesday. The carrier is believed to be the first in the world to offer its staff the option to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Thai Beverage, which was top performer on Tuesday, slumped to the bottom of the index on Wednesday, losing 3.15 per cent to 77 cents.

Asian markets ended the day mixed. The benchmark Kospi closed 0.71 per cent higher while the Nikkei 225 Index gained 1.04 per cent. On the other hand, Chinese markets ended lower as investor sentiment was dampened amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases in mainland China.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.27 per cent while the Hang Seng slipped 0.15 per cent.

Retailers had a good day as the Australian market rallied with a 0.1 per cent gain.