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STI falls 0.1% as most regional markets bleed red ink

SINGAPORE – Stocks in Singapore ended lower on Tuesday, tracking declines in the region.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) fell 0.1 per cent, or 3.82 points, to 3,214.46. Gainers outnumbered losers 279 to 253, after 921.6 million securities worth $655.8 million changed hands.

Regional indexes ended largely in the red. The Hang Seng Index lost 0.4 per cent, the Kospi Composite Index fell 0.8 per cent, and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index slid 0.1 per cent. The Nikkei 225 index gained 1 per cent.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes noted a “no-news yet impending high data risk environment” on Tuesday, as investors watched for the release of United States consumer price index (CPI) data on Wednesday and the consumer confidence survey on Friday. He said the CPI has retreated to a more manageable range.

But he does not expect headline inflation to return to targets soon, given persistent pressures on service prices, the resurgence of oil prices, and the diminishing impact of favourable base effects.

“The path ahead remains challenging, and the Federal Reserve still faces a lengthy journey in its efforts to stabilise the economy,” said Mr Innes.

On the STI, the top gainer was Venture Corporation, which gained 3.2 per cent, or 40 cents, to $13.04.

The top loser was Jardine Cycle and Carriage, which fell 1.2 per cent, or 38 cents, to $31.42.

The trio of local banks ended lower on Tuesday. DBS Group Holdings slid 0.7 per cent, or 23 cents, to $33.26. OCBC Bank slid 0.1 per cent, or one cent, to $12.52, and UOB was down 0.4 per cent, or 12 cents, to $28.30. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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