Bulls And Bears

STI treads water as rate fears keep regional investors on edge

• Gainers outpace losers 243 to 210 in the wider market • Yangzijiang top performer and MLT biggest loser • Hang Seng the outlier in region, edging up 0.1%

Fears that United States policy-makers might speed up plans to hike interest rates in the face of rising inflation kept regional investors a little on edge yesterday.

The Straits Times Index (STI) kept its head amid the wary mood elsewhere to stay almost unchanged at 3,227.15, down 0.01 per cent or 0.38 point.

Gainers outpaced losers 243 to 210 in the wider market with 1.64 billion shares worth $1.03 billion changing hands.

"A cautious tone may still seem to prevail for now, with sector performance suggesting that the strength is not broad-based, with the heavy-lifting once again done by the energy and financial sectors," said IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong.

Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) was the biggest loser among the STI's constituents. MLT, which resumed trading yesterday following news of a fund-raising exercise to help pay for the acquisition of 17 logistics assets for $1.5 billion, closed 2.1 per cent lower at $1.91.

The top STI performer was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, which gained 2.3 per cent to $1.33. It was also the most heavily traded among the index constituents, with 60.3 million shares done.

Across the wider market, gold miner and explorer Shen Yao, formerly known as LionGold, was the most traded counter with a whopping 254.3 million shares changing hands across the session. It plunged 33.3 per cent to close at 0.2 cent.

The local banks were mixed. DBS dipped 0.03 per cent to $32.38, UOB fell 0.44 per cent to $27.48 but OCBC closed flat at $11.76.

Elsewhere, most markets across Asia also fell after the mixed session on Wall Street overnight where the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 made modest increases while the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.5 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index tumbled 1.6 per cent, the Kospi in South Korea fell 0.1 per cent, Malaysian stocks dipped 0.04 per cent and the ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.2 per cent. The outlier was Hong Kong's Hang Seng, which edged up 0.1 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2021, with the headline 'STI treads water as rate fears keep regional investors on edge'. Subscribe