Singapore shares buck regional declines

The Straits Times Index rose 0.28 per cent, or 8.94 points, to end the day at 3,259.56 points. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore stocks closed higher on Tuesday, even as most other Asian indexes moved deeper into the red with China’s Covid-19 infections surging close to record levels.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.28 per cent, or 8.94 points, to end the day at 3,259.56 points. Advancers beat decliners 297 to 274 in the broader market, after 1.7 billion securities worth $871.9 million changed hands.

Hong Kong stocks led losses in the region, with the Hang Seng Index falling 1.3 per cent.

South Korea’s Kospi slid 0.6 per cent, while the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index lost 0.5 per cent and the Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.5 per cent.

China has seen a rise in infections since loosening Covid-19 restrictions about a fortnight ago.

“We know that China’s reopening will be laced with fits and starts as the two-steps-forward-one-step-back routine becomes the norm,” said SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes.

Bearish investors also fear a prolonged property downturn in China and an inability to kick-start growth as in the past, given debt levels, he added.

Sembcorp Industries was the top performer on the STI, gaining 4.9 per cent, or 15 cents, to close at $3.20.

It announced last Thursday that it was buying a stake in Wuling Power, a renewable energy company in China. Wuling Power is an affiliate of Chinese state-owned enterprise State Power Investment Corporation, which is the world’s largest renewables player.

At the bottom of the index was Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust, which lost 1.2 per cent, or two cents, to close at $1.69.

The three Singapore banks ended mixed. DBS Group Holdings rose 0.9 per cent, or 32 cents, to close at $35.58 and UOB gained 0.3 per cent, or eight cents, to close at $30.11, while OCBC Bank lost 0.2 per cent, or two cents, to end the day at $12.43. THE BUSINESS TIMES

Follow ST on LinkedIn and stay updated on the latest career news, insights and more.