Singapore Stocks Close Lower On Thursday Ahead Of Long Weekend; STI Down 0.9%


SINGAPORE shares ended a shortened trading week with losses on Thursday (Mar 28), ahead of the Good Friday public holiday.

The Straits Times Index (STI) fell 0.9 per cent or 27.7 points to close at 3,224.01. Across the broader market, advancers outnumbered decliners 297 to 240, with 1.5 billion securities worth S$1.3 billion changing hands.

The biggest gainer on the STI was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding : BS6 +3.24%, which climbed 3.2 per cent or S$0.06 to S$1.91.

The biggest decliner on the index was real estate investment manager CapitaLand Investment : 9CI 0%, which fell 2.6 per cent or S$0.07 to S$2.68.

The most actively traded counter by volume was Seatrium : S51 0%, with 279.1 million shares worth S$22.1 million changing hands. The counter ended flat at S$0.079.

Regional bourses were mixed on Thursday. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3 per cent, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 1.5 per cent. Meanwhile, Australia’s ASX 200 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index both rose 1 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 per cent.

The mixed performance across the region comes a day ahead of the release of US data for February’s Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure.

Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said Fed chair Jerome Powell has maintained that the narrative of disinflation remains intact, even in the face of inflationary overshoots observed in January and February.

He noted that there is a sense Powell has downplayed the significance of the impending release of PCE, by indicating that it may not significantly alter the prevailing narrative around inflation.

“Recent consumer confidence indicators paint a less optimistic picture” of the US economy, Innes said, “particularly regarding future expectations for job prospects and income”.

“This downward trend in consumer sentiment could signal potential headwinds for the US economy, suggesting the possibility of a slowdown in the near future and something the Fed might view as a precursor to rate cuts,” he added. – The Business Times

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