STI up 0.5% as Asia stocks rally on cooler-than-expected US inflation data

Singapore stocks were up for a second day running on Thursday (Aug 11) amid a regional rally, as traders found relief in news that inflation is decelerating in the US. The US inflation data fuelled bets that the Federal Reserve could pivot to a less aggressive pace of hikes.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) closed 0.5 per cent or 15.63 points higher at 3,301.96, while major indexes in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea rose between 1.1 and 2.4 per cent. Japan's market is closed for a holiday.

Across the broader market, gainers far outnumbered losers 304 to 200 after 1.43 billion securities worth S$1.28 billion changed hands. 

Oanda senior market analyst Edward Moya said US inflation data was the main event of the week, and it did not disappoint, showing that inflation relief is on its way. 

"Trades are growing confident that if the next inflation report on September 13th confirms this softening pricing pressure trend, the Fed may seriously consider a smaller pace of tightening," he said.

Most STI constituents rallied along with the sentiment, but not Capitaland Investment Limited, which took a drastic turn from being among Wednesday's top performers to shed 4.4 per cent after posting a dismal set of financial results. 

The property investment manager reported a 38.3 per cent fall in profit to S$433 million due to "lower velocity in asset recycling activities", particularly in China.

Singtel, ST Engineering and City Development Limited were the 3 other STI counters that closed lower, slipping between 0.1 and 1.1 per cent.

The top performers were Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Mapletree Logistics Trust and Thai Beverage, which closed up between 2.3 and 2.6 per cent. The trio of banks traded up between 0.7 and 1 per cent.

In the broader market, Yangzijiang Financial was the most actively traded counter by volume. The counter closed down 1.3 per cent at S$0.39 after 89.5 million of its shares worth S$35.3 million exchanged hands.

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