SINGAPORE – Local shares joined most of their regional peers to snap a two-day losing streak on Wednesday.
The change in mood sent the Straits Times Index (STI) up 0.3 per cent or 9.04 points to 3,289.55, with gainers beating decliners 316 to 191 on turnover of 826.3 million shares worth $1.1 billion.
Mr Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, pointed to a possible shift in the air: “We could be entering a turning point for global equity fund flows. “Inflows into United States equities are decelerating, while they are picking up in China, the rest of Asia and Japan.”
Singapore Airlines is one of the local winners. Its robust passenger numbers for December perked up the shares by 0.9 per cent to $5.88 despite a downgrade call by CGS-CIMB from “add” to “hold”. The research house no longer views the stock’s upside as compelling, despite the airline’s strong dividends. Another STI constituent, property player City Developments, rose 0.8 per cent to $8. The firm was listed as the top choice of brokerage RHB on Tuesday. Its analyst said the local residential market will stay resilient this year despite rising interest rate pressures due to the sector’s low inventory and supply, relatively healthy household balance sheets and rising rental yields.
Sembcorp Marine was the most active with a trading volume of 58.9 million. The counter closed 0.7 per cent lower at 13.5 cents.
Shares rose in Japan, fluctuated in mainland China, Hong Kong and Australia and fell in South Korea.
The outcomes largely reflect a mixed session on Wall Street overnight after sharp earnings falls at two key investment bank and Chinese figures showing a near-historic slowdown in growth.
Investors are assessing the path for monetary tightening as well while the yen tumbled 1.9 per cent after the Bank of Japan kept its key settings unchanged.
Elsewhere, oil contracts traded higher on hopes of a revival in Chinese demand. THE BUSINESS TIMES, BLOOMBERG