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STI claws back losses from previous days' fall, rises 0.72%

SINGAPORE shares tracked US gains to snap its four-day losing streak on Wednesday.

"Stabilisation had been noted for US equities after the broad-based sell-off at the start of the week," said IG market strategist Pan Jingyi.

But it remains to be seen whether these gains will be sustained, she said. Investors will be keeping an eye on the Fed talks and economic data such as the US Purchasing Managers' Index and jobless claims.

Said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp: "Although the central banks can do more, equity markets have likely reached their multiple policy deluges' saturation point. And as such, the stock markets might continue to struggle to make new highs until there are more positive signs of real economic growth."

The Straits Times Index (STI) closed 17.85 points or 0.72 per cent higher at 2,481.14. Across the market, advancers outpaced decliners 244 to 153, with over 1.31 billion shares worth S$1.10 billion having changed hands.

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The top-performing STI component stocks were CapitaLand Commercial Trust and the Singapore Airlines (SIA), which both rose 3.0 per cent. CapitaLand Commercial Trust gained S$0.05 to S$1.71; SIA edged up S$0.10 to S$3.46.

Singtel was the most heavily traded stock with over 31 million shares changing hands. It was also the fourth best performer on the blue-chip index; its shares advanced 1.9 per cent or S$0.04 to S$2.20. This comes after the telco's share price on Tuesday fell to S$2.16 - its lowest in 12 years as heavy volumes changed hands.

Of the 30 STI stocks, three ended in the red. Hongkong Land fell 0.8 per cent to US$3.65, Jardine Strategic Holdings dipped 0.7 per cent to US$20.78 while Jardine Matheson Holdings shed 0.6 per cent to US$41.47.

Elsewhere in Asia, stock markets were mixed as investors tread carefully despite Wall Street's rebound. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index slipped 0.62 per cent; the Nikkei 225 Index lost 0.06 per cent. The Hang Seng Index and South Korea's Kospi were up 0.11 per cent and 0.03 per cent respectively.

Ms Pan said: "Comments from US central bankers had not painted a positive picture for Asia markets between Fed (chairman Jerome) Powell's caution on the economy and (Chicago) Fed (president Charles) Evans' remark on lifting interest rates prior to achieving the inflation target, capping the gains here."

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