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Homecompanies marketsSingapore shares fall in contrast to regional markets, STI dips 0.2%

Singapore shares fall in contrast to regional markets, STI dips 0.2%

SINGAPORE – The global rally sparked by growing expectations of interest rate cuts in the United States in 2024 failed to generate much excitement among investors here on Dec 15.

While bourses elsewhere were making hay in the black, the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) was stuck in the red, falling 0.2 per cent, or 6.44 points, to 3,116.51.

At least gainers outnumbered losers 345 to 247, with robust trade of 1.8 billion shares worth $2.2 billion racked up.

Most regional markets followed on from a buoyant Wall Street, where the S&P 500 rose 0.3 per cent, the tech-focused Nasdaq put on 0.2 per cent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 per cent to a new record high.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index took the hint and shot up 2.4 per cent, while the Nikkei 225 ticked ahead 0.9 per cent. Malaysian stocks added 0.5 per cent and the Kospi in Seoul gained 0.8 per cent.

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.9 per cent for a weekly gain of 3.4 per cent – its best week in five months.

City Developments Limited (CDL) and Great Eastern were the STI’s biggest winners. CDL rose 4 per cent to $6.76, while Great Eastern gained 1.45 per cent to $17.50.

Seatrium surged 1.9 per cent to 10.7 cents after 206.6 million shares were traded, making it the most active counter.

Local banks were mixed: DBS Bank fell 1.1 per cent to $31.06, OCBC Bank dipped 0.8 per cent to $12.37, while UOB advanced 0.1 per cent to $27.82.

IG market analyst Yeap Jun Rong noted that although Wall Street inched higher overnight, profit-taking took hold towards the latter half of the session. He said US retail sales in November had a “significantly higher-than-expected read”, which signals a clear resilience among consumers.

“Coupled with the Fed’s recent dovish rhetoric, the data is likely to feed further into soft-landing hopes,” he added. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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