Singapore shares finish flat amid modest gains in region

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SINGAPORE – Singapore shares closed little changed on Tuesday (March 16), amid modest gains across major regional markets, which tracked an overnight rally on Wall Street.

The Straits Index (STI) slipped 0.02 per cent to finish at 3,105.51.

Across the broader market, advancers outnumbered decliners 282 to 211 on Tuesday, after 2.44 billion securities worth S$1.49 billion changed hands.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the top STI gainer, rising 4.9 per cent to S$1.29. The counter was the most traded in terms of value, with some 128 million shares worth S$162.7 million changing hands.

Koh Brothers Eco Engineering shares were the most active by volume, with 342.6 million shares traded.

The counter more than doubled, rising 5 Singapore cents to 8.6 cents, after it announced on Monday that an investor would be buying 810 million new ordinary shares in the company at 4.7 cents per share.

Finishing at the bottom of the STI performance table on Tuesday was Jardine Cycle & Carriage, which fell 1.5 per cent to S$22.29.

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan climbed 0.5 per cent, with the Topix index hitting its best level in 20 years.

“The market sentiment is very strong. It’s lifted by the optimism that most of Japanese companies would benefit from the recovery of the US ,” said Daiwa Securities senior strategist Hideyuki Ishiguro.

South Korea’s Kospi also finished up 0.7 per cent. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index 0.8 per cent.

Mr Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi, said: “The US$1.9 trillion stimulus package in the US will lead to a stronger US and global recovery, hence more exports for China, which continues to resonate through Asia risk sentiment as the global synchronised growth story looks more in sync than only one week ago.”

However, he also noted that “markets are in somewhat of a holding pattern” ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Wednesday.

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