Singapore shares end lower on inflation concerns; STI falls 0.2%

The Straits Times Index fell 0.2 per cent or 7.55 points to close at 3,255.08. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE – Local shares mirrored overnight losses on Wall Street amid rising concerns about persistent inflation.

The Straits Times Index fell 0.2 per cent or 7.55 points to close at 3,255.08 on Wednesday although gainers outnumbered losers 323 to 236, after 4.5 billion shares worth $1.4 billion changed hands.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said markets continued to struggle with the prospect of higher-for-longer interest rates.

He added that the market has continued to price in a more hawkish US Federal Reserve stance, in the light of more robust growth and firmer inflation news.

“Overall, the narrative has turned weaker, but it’s unsurprising: Inflation has proved stickier, and it takes time for higher rates and yields to be passed on to average funding costs,” he added.

Regional markets were mixed on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 per cent, the Kospi Composite gained 0.4 per cent and the Hang Seng climbed 4.2 per cent, but Malaysian shares slid 0.3 per cent and Australian stocks finished flat.

Sembcorp Marine was the top traded counter by volume with 2.9 billion shares, accounting for more than half the trading volume in the local market. Sembmarine’s volume surge came after the company announced the close of its combination with Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M) on Tuesday.

It began trading on Wednesday with an enlarged total share capital, which included roughly 36.8 billion Keppel O&M consideration shares issued directly to Keppel Corporation and its shareholders.

The counter closed at 12 cents, down 9.45 per cent.

The trio of local banks ended mixed: DBS lost 0.5 per cent to $34 and OCBC fell 1.1 per cent to $12.53, but UOB climbed 0.03 per cent to $29.93. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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