Singapore stocks pull back on US inflation fears; STI down 1%

THE Straits Times Index (STI) fell 1 per cent or 32.06 points to close at 3,258.02 on Wednesday (Sep 14), as higher-than-expected US inflation figures for August battered investor sentiment.

In the wider Singapore market, losers outnumbered gainers 312 to 184, with 1.19 billion securities worth S$1.03 billion changing hands.

Key Asian markets mostly finished lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 index tumbled 2.8 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 2.5 per cent, South Korea's Kospi fell 1.6 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI lost 1.3 per cent.

"The hotter-than-expected print for both US headline and core inflation in August delivered a negative shock to Wall Street overnight by suggesting that pricing pressures are not moderating as fast as expected while overturning hopes of a quicker Federal Reserve policy pivot," said IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong.

"Rate hike expectations were being ramped up after the data release, with markets now fully pricing for a 75 basis point (bp) hike in next week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting and a 33 per cent chance is being attributed to a 100 bp scenario," he added.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage (Jardine C&C) was the lone winner among Singapore's blue-chip stocks, rising 0.3 per cent or S$0.10 to close at S$34.92.

The biggest loser on the STI was Venture Corporation. The counter fell 2.4 per cent or S$0.42 to S$17.46.

The most heavily traded counter on the STI was Singtel, which lost 1.1 per cent or S$0.03 to S$2.70, with 26.4 million shares traded.

The trio of local banks all finished lower. DBS lost 0.9 per cent or S$0.31 to close at S$33.32, OCBC slipped 0.4 per cent or S$0.05 to S$12.22, while UOB dropped 1 per cent or S$0.28 to S$27.28.

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