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STI reverses loss to end 0.01% higher

THE benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) ended its two-day losing streak to finish 0.34 points or 0.01 per cent higher at 2,977.51, taking cue from Wall Street's overnight gains on Tuesday.

Of the rise in US equities, Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said that this was "mostly because US yields remained unchanged", adding that "with the White House quiet and a modest data calendar, that has been enough to greenlight a rally in Asian equities today".

Among the STI constituents, Jardine Cycle & Carriage emerged as top performer for the day, gaining S$0.72 or 3.26 per cent to close at S$22.80.

Coming in second was Singapore Airlines (SIA), which inched up S$0.11 or 2.59 per cent to end at S$4.35.

On Tuesday evening, an SIA spokesperson said that its staff have been offered Covid-19 vaccinations by the government, with the vaccination exercise beginning Wednesday. The carrier is believed to be the first in the world to offer its staff the option to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Meanwhile, Thai Beverage, which was top performer the day before, slumped to the bottom of the index on Wednesday, losing S$0.025 or 3.15 per cent to close at S$0.77.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 279 to 208 for the day, with 2.5 billion securities worth S$1.55 billion changing hands.

Across the region, Asian markets ended the day mixed.

The benchmark Kospi ended 22.34 points or 0.71 per cent higher at 3,148.29, while the Nikkei 225 Index gained 292.25 points or 1.04 per cent to close at 28,456.59.

On the other hand, Chinese markets ended the day lower, as investor sentiment was dampened amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases in mainland China. A total of 115 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, up from 55 cases a day earlier, said the country's national health authority on Wednesday. This was the highest daily increase in more than five months.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 9.69 points or 0.27 per cent at 3,598.65, while the Hang Seng Index slipped 41.15 points or 0.15 per cent to close at 28,235.60.

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