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Singapore stocks end Wednesday lower, STI down 0.3%

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Local shares finished Wednesday (April 14) in the red, as investors remained cautious despite the Singapore economy booking a 0.2 per cent year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2021 for the first time since the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) fell 8.51 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 3,179.39 on Wednesday. Across the broader market, advancers outnumbered decliners 242 to 230, after some 1.53 billion securities worth $1.01 billion changed hands.

Despite the dip on the Singapore bourse, markets across the region generally reflected upbeat investor sentiment. The KLCI inched up 0.04 per cent; the Hang Seng Index added 1.4 per cent, and the Kospi gained 0.4 per cent. The Nikkei 225 bucked the trend, closing 0.4 per cent lower.

Over on Wall Street, Tuesday’s trading session ended with mixed results. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 per cent.

Mr Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi, said that global equity markets are “getting lots of support” from the broader macroeconomic backdrop, which is currently underpinning risk in the markets.

“Early reads on earnings look promising, and this should be enough to see additional money chase the market higher,” he added.

Tech names were among the biggest gainers on the Singapore bourse on Wednesday. Venture Corporation came out tops, adding 1 per cent, or $0.20, to finish at $20.43.

Creative Technology was another top gainer, rising 2.2 per cent, or $0.06, to $2.77. Specialist component maker Innotek finished the day at $0.85, up 6.3 per cent or $0.05.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jardine Matheson Holdings was the biggest loser for the day. The counter closed at US$64.87, down 0.3 per cent or US$0.20.

The trio of local lenders finished the day in the red. DBS Bank shed 0.5 per cent, or $0.15, to $28.69; UOB fell 0.3 per cent, or $0.08, to $25.96; and OCBC Bank lost 0.3 per cent, or $0.04, to $11.80.

Jiutian Chemical was the most heavily traded stock, with some 224.7 million shares changing hands over the course of the day. The counter closed at 10.1 Singapore cents on Wednesday, up 1 per cent or 0.1 cent.

Other active stocks for the day included Sembcorp Marine, Oceanus and Japfa.

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