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STI rises 0.3% despite bearish sentiment in major regional markets

SINGAPORE – The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.3 per cent, or 10.53 points, to 3,218.28 on Monday despite weak market sentiment in Asia.

Across the broader market, gainers beat losers 280 to 271 after 1.1 billion securities worth $680.2 million changed hands.

Major Asian markets were mixed on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.4 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6 per cent, but South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4 per cent.

IG market analyst Yeap Jun Rong said Asian markets may have been digesting Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor Kazuo Ueda’s comments over the weekend.

Mr Ueda said in an interview that the BOJ could have enough data by the year end to decide if it can end ultra-loose monetary policies.

Mr Yeap noted that the governor may have been laying the groundwork for further policy normalisation ahead, but that he was also quick to downplay some speculation by calling for patience.

He added that Mr Ueda’s hawkish tone may also have lifted Japan’s 10-year yields to another new high since 2014, narrowing the yield differential with the United States.

“That said, with the next BOJ meeting scheduled to be less than two weeks away, there may still be room for disappointment for near-term hawkish bets, given that the governor’s comments seem to place any rate decision only in 2024, along with the less likelihood of back-to-back policy tweaks given its broadly patient stance,” said Mr Yeap.

CapitaLand Ascendas Reit was at the top of the STI table, gaining 1.1 per cent, or three cents, to $2.81.

The trio of local banks were also in the black. Both DBS Bank and OCBC Bank gained 0.8 per cent, while UOB gained 0.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Hongkong Land was the biggest loser, shedding 3.3 per cent to US$3.52. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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