Singapore shares marginally higher as investors await Fed chair’s testimony

The STI rose about 0.2 per cent to finish at 3,245.27 points on March 7, 2023. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares were marginally higher on Tuesday, as investors focused their attention on an upcoming speech by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on the monetary policy of the United States.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose about 0.2 per cent, or 5.96 points, to 3,245.27 points, echoing gains at most Asian markets.

Investors are waiting to find out interest-rate forward movements from Mr Powell’s testimony before the US Senate on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Stocks probably won’t be able to have a meaningful rally until we hear from Fed chair Powell,” said Oanda’s senior market analyst Edward Moya.

Dismal Chinese trade data sent key gauges in China and Hong Kong into the red, despite most Asian markets rising.

DFI Retail Group topped the STI performance tally, with the counter moving up 3.4 per cent or 11 US cents to US$3.30. This came after analysts wrote that they expected the pan-Asian player to benefit from the reopening of China and Hong Kong.

Shares of OKP Holdings skyrocketed 18 per cent to a 52-week high at 21 Singapore cents. Its subsidiary Or Kim Peow Contractors has been awarded $43.8 million in an arbitration case of a 2017 accident involving the collapse of a Pan-Island Expressway viaduct; this is expected to boost the group’s financial performance for the year ending Dec 31, 2023, the group announced on Monday.

Decliners beat gainers 267 to 251 in the broader market, with two billion securities worth a total $1.1 billion transacted. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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