STI down 0.1%, bucking regional gains boosted by Fed minutes

The STI ended down 0.1 per cent although gainers outpaced losers 287 to 199. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE – Local shares again defied the regional trend and slipped a touch on Thursday despite United States Federal Reserve officials showing support for slowing down the pace of interest rate hikes and modest rises on Wall Street overnight.

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended the day down just 0.1 per cent at 3,252.88, although gainers outpaced losers 287 to 199 in the broader market after 1.2 billion shares worth $918.1 million changed hands.

There was far more action across the Causeway, with Malaysia-listed stocks surging 4 per cent to a three-month high after news that political veteran Anwar Ibrahim would be the new prime minister.

Shares had traded within a narrow range earlier in the week, after last Saturday’s election produced no clear winner.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, which led losses at the start of the week, was up 0.8 per cent at Thursday’s close, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo and South Korea’s Kospi both gained 1 per cent, while the Jakarta Composite ended the day 0.4 per cent ahead.

The Australian share market rose for a third consecutive session, advancing 0.1 per cent to a six-month high amid light trading ahead of the US Thanksgiving holidays.

China’s Covid-19 infections surged to record levels on Thursday, adding downward pressure on Chinese indices in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong said investors in the region “may continue to find comfort that the (Fed) minutes have done little in driving more hawkish interest rate expectations”.

Pan-Asian retailer DFI Retail Group continued its decline to finish last on the STI, down 1.7 per cent to close at US$2.37.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding topped the index at the closing bell, rising 2.9 per cent to $1.41.

The trio of local banks ended mixed: DBS Bank declined 1 per cent to $35; OCBC Bank fell 0.6 per cent to $12.34; while UOB edged up 0.4 per cent to $30.27. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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