The Business Times

STI falls 0.8% alongside losses by regional peers

Anita Gabriel
Published Wed, Mar 31, 2021 · 06:07 PM

SINGAPORE shares finally let up and broke its six-day winning streak as fatigue set in, spurred further by losses across all but one bourse in the region, which took their cue from Wall Street's overnight weakness.

The key Straits Times Index fell 25.55 points or 0.80 per cent to finish at 3,165.34 on Wednesday. And with that, the index caps a stellar first quarter.

Singapore Exchange's market strategist Geoff Howie pointed out that while the majority of counters ended the session in the red, this was the Straits Times Index's (STI) strongest Q1 since its 13.8 per cent gain in Q1 of 2012.

The STI's 11.3 per cent gain year-to-date makes it the second best performer among major global benchmarks for the first three-month period and a close second to Taiwan's key gauge that logged a 11.8 per cent rise over the same period in Singapore dollar terms, Mr Howie added.

On Tuesday, key equity gauges from Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan to Malaysia closed in the red except for Australia which bucked the trend. The broad weakness in Asian bourses, partly owing to quarter-end rebalancing flows, comes in spite of China posting strong factory data and ahead of US President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan.

Turnover on the local bourse stood at 1.73 billion units worth S$1.52 billion.

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Banking, a sector which was also the world's best performing, had given the STI a strong lift for the three-month period to March.

The trio of DBS, OCBC and UOB saw S$1 billion of net institutional inflow in Q1 2021 and averaged 15.4 per cent gains over the period, in line with the top quartile of global banks by market value on the steepening of the US yield curve.

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