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Singapore shares fall despite Wall Street advance; STI down 0.8%

LOCAL shares ended Wednesday in the red, having given up their gains from earlier on in the trading day as investor optimism waned.

The benchmark Straits Times Index closed 0.8 per cent or 22.08 points lower at 2,869.55, with decliners outnumbering advancers 288 to 227 after 3.31 billion securities worth some S$2.41 billion changed hands.

This was despite an advance on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 1.5 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.

Across the region, markets mostly ended the day in the black. The KLCI advanced 1.2 per cent; the Hang Seng Index rose 0.3 per cent, and the Nikkei 225 ended 0.5 per cent higher. However, the Jakarta Composite Index finished 0.4 per cent lower; the SSE Composite Index fell 1.2 per cent.

Axi's chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes said Asian markets "paused for breath" after the global "melt-up" on Tuesday, when US indices touched multi-year highs.

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"Cross-asset price action continues to support a rotation into the value end of the equity market, with the aggressive reach for risk seen in the past few sessions suggesting a rush to re-pivot portfolios for an expected sharp rebound in growth next year," he said.

One of the top advancers for the day was Singapore Airlines, which added 3.9 per cent or S$0.17 to close at S$4.58.

Other constituent advancers included DBS, Hongkong Land, Jardine Cycle & Carriage, Singapore Exchange and Wilmar International. Nanofilm Technologies was also among the biggest gainers, closing 4.7 per cent or S$0.14 higher at S$3.10.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings were among the biggest losers. The former fell 0.8 per cent or US$0.43 to US$54.42; the latter lost 1.7 per cent or US$0.43 to close at US$24.83.

The trio of lenders ended the day mixed. DBS gained 0.3 per cent or S$0.08 to S$25.68, UOB shed 1.5 per cent or S$0.36 to S$23.24. OCBC, too, fell 1.5 per cent or S$0.15 to finish the day at S$10.13.

Sembcorp Marine was the most heavily traded counter for the day, with some 383.9 million shares changing hands. The stock closed 0.2 cent, or 1.2 per cent, lower at 16.6 Singapore cents.

Looking ahead, Mr Innes said markets may struggle to "push on meaningfully" from here, especially since a further uplift in month-end selling pressure can now be expected after yesterday's "significant equity move relative to bonds". He is also forecasting that investors will turn "profit- and loss-defensive" in December.

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