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Singapore stocks finish the year in the red, STI down 0.89%
IN the last trading day of 2020, investor optimism waned despite the festive cheer, with the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) sliding 25.41 points or 0.89 per cent to 2,843.81 points at the closing bell of a holiday-shortened day.
For the month, however, the STI was up 1.35 per cent or 37.86 points.
State Street Global Markets on Thursday released the results of the State Street Investor Confidence Index (ICI) for December 2020.
The Global Investor Confidence Index increased to 104.1, up 13.3 points from November's revised reading of 90.8; with the Asian ICI increasing 17.4 points to 112.6.
Rajeev Bhargava, head of Investor Behavior Research for State Street Associates, said: "The uptick in risk-seeking behaviour was largely driven by US and Asia investors as the release of Covid vaccines this month, prospects of a fresh stimulus package out of the US and post-election certainty are likely contributing to a more positive outlook on asset markets."
"December's reading of global sentiment is a good supporting datapoint that we may be heading in the right direction," he added.
Among the STI constituents, Sembcorp Industries emerged as top performer for the day, inching up S$0.01 or 0.59 per cent to close at S$1.71.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jardine Strategic Holdings (JSH) was the biggest decliner, falling US$0.83 or 3.23 per cent to end at US$24.88. JSH was one of four stocks identified as STI's strongest performers in the quarter to date, and ranked highly for value factors, said the Singapore Exchange in a market update on Tuesday.
Advancers outnumbered decliners 221 to 182 for the day, with 665.63 million securities worth S$548.44 million changing hands.
Elsewhere in Asia, investors in Chinese markets soaked in the festive mood. The Hang Seng Index gained 84.02 points or 0.31 per cent to close at 27,231.13, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was trading up 28.34 points or 0.83 per cent at 3,442.79 as at the mid-day break.
Markets in Japan and South Korea were closed on Thursday for a holiday.