STI Down 0.1%, Bucking Regional Gains Boosted By Fed Minutes

Singapore stocks declined modestly on Thursday (Nov 24), even as regional indices rose after Federal Reserve officials showed support for slowing down the pace of interest rate hikes.

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended the day down 0.1 per cent, or 3.11 points, at 3,252.88.

Advancers outpaced decliners 287 to 199 in the broader market, after 1.2 billion securities worth S$918.1 million changed hands.

Closer to home, Malaysia-listed stocks surged after the state palace announced Anwar Ibrahim as the nation’s 10th prime minister, The Business Times cited.

The benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite climbed to a three-month high after the midday announcement, closing 4 per cent higher on Thursday. The securities 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, while Tokyo’s Nikkei 255 and South Korea’s Kospi both gained 1 per cent.

The Jakarta Composite ended the day up 0.4 per cent.

China’s Covid-19 infections surged to record levels on Thursday, adding downward pressure on Chinese indices such as the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Index.

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 : D01 -1.66% continued its decline to finish last on the STI, down 1.7 per cent or US$0.04 to close at US$2.37.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (YZJ) : BS6 +2.92% topped the index at the closing bell, rising 2.9 per cent or S$0.04 to S$1.41.

The trio of local banks ended mixed. DBS : D05 -1.02% declined 1 per cent to S$35, OCBC : O39 -0.64% fell 0.6 per cent to S$12.34, while UOB : U11 +0.4% edged up 0.4 per cent to S$30.27.

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