SINGAPORE – Local stocks eked out slight gains on Wednesday as traders hunted for bargains while shrugging off concerns over inflation and interest rate hikes.
The more optimistic mood nudged the Straits Times Index (STI) up 0.1 per cent or 2.22 points to 3,256.19, with gainers outnumbering decliners 247 to 219 on modest volume of 951.7 million shares worth $740.8 million.
Regional markets ended the day mixed after a positive session on Wall Street overnight.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo was down 0.7 per cent, Malaysian shares lost 0.3 per cent and the Kospi in Seoul shed 0.2 per cent.
It was more upbeat in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng rose 0.3 per cent, while Australian shares ended a four-day losing streak with a 1.3 per cent surge.
IG market analyst Yeap Jun Rong said that the STI “remains fairly stuck within a consolidation zone”. Singapore Exchange data out last week noted that institutional net inflows were at $7.9 million while retail accounted for $5.7 million.
However, Mr Yeap noted that the STI has been one of the more resilient indexes in 2022, with a gain of 1.5 per cent. The index has been “tapping on its defensive status in the region for some traction amid the global economic challenge”, he added.
Nio broke a two-day losing streak and emerged among the top performers on Wednesday, closing up 1 per cent to US$11.11.
Thinly-traded Old Chang Kee was the biggest loser, crashing 11.6 per cent to 61 cents with just 1,000 shares traded.
Venture Corporation was also among the top decliners, shedding 0.3 per cent to $16.93.
Marco Polo Marine was the most actively traded stock, with 127.4 million shares transacted. The counter fell 2.3 per cent to 4.3 cents.
Golden Agri-Resources was also heavily traded, losing 3.9 per cent to 24.5 cents on trade of 26.5 million shares.
The firm announced on Tuesday that it expects to remain profitable in its fourth quarter, despite a fair value loss. THE BUSINESS TIMES