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STI closes 0.1% down at 2,810.95

THE benchmark Straits Times Index sank into the red on Wednesday, declining 0.11 per cent or 3.17 points to close at 2,810.95.

Among the STI constituents, the trio of banks made gains on Wednesday. UOB climbed 0.8 per cent or S$0.18 to close at S$22.75, while OCBC closed up 0.6 per cent or S$0.06 at S$10.05. DBS inched up 0.52 per cent or S$0.13 to close at S$25.32.

In a research note on Tuesday, Jefferies equity analyst Krishna Guha said: "While the financial-stability review highlights the pertinent risks … fiscal support and regulatory forbearance will help to tide over any adverse situation.

"Reflationary expectations and strong economic rebound may be priced in the steeper yield curve. All three banks will benefit in such a situation."

At the bottom of the STI performance table, Thai Beverage slid 2.72 per cent or S$0.02 to close at S$0.715 on Wednesday.

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Decliners outnumbered advancers 246 to 190 for the day, with 2.55 billion securities worth S$1.17 billion changing hands.

Across the region, Asian markets ended the day mixed.

The Hang Seng Index dipped 0.13 per cent or 35.10 points to close at 26,532.58, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.074 per cent or 2.56 points at 3,449.38.

South Korean shares jumped to a record closing high, partly lifted by chip makers after Micron Technology raised its revenue outlook for Q1 2021. The benchmark Kospi ended up 41.65 points or 1.58 per cent at 2,675.9.

OCBC Investment Research on Wednesday called South Korea a "bellwether for global trade", a day after the country's trade ministry reported that overseas shipments rose 4 per cent from a year earlier, supported by robust demand for tech devices and gains in key markets.

"The strength of trade activity in recent months is giving a lifeline to the recovery, though the situation remains fragile as the world awaits developments in the race to get a coronavirus vaccine," said the research team in its market commentary.

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