Singapore stocks buck downtrend in Asian markets

SINGAPORE – Local shares bucked the decline recorded in most key Asian bourses to rack up a modest increase on Wednesday.

Solid gains by the three banks helped the Straits Times Index (STI) rise 0.4 per cent or 14.49 points to 3,324.05 at the closing bell.

But losers easily outpaced gainers 312 to 245 while 1.16 billion shares worth $958.7 million were traded.

The generally poor showing in the region came after two United States Federal Reserve officials overnight reaffirmed market talk that more interest rate hikes are needed.

That sent shares down pretty much across the board.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 per cent while the Nikkei in Tokyo dipped 0.2 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was off 1.4 per cent.

There were a couple of standout performers, however.

The Kospi in Seoul rose 0.2 per cent, and Australian stocks inched up 0.1 per cent on the back of solid gains by the miners.

The regional performance came after a slow session on Wall Street overnight.

The Singapore banks were the stalwarts.

OCBC Bank closed 0.9 per cent higher at $12.89 and UOB climbed 0.8 per cent to $30.10.

DBS Bank rose 0.6 per cent to $32.95.

Genting Singapore was the worst STI constituent performer, falling 2.6 per cent to $1.13.

The casino operator had confirmed that it was fully out of the race for a licence in Japan.

The counter had notched 22.5 per cent in total returns for the year to mid-April.

Electric carmaker Nio slid 5.8 per cent to US$9.21 amid a price war over electric cars in China.

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