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STI slips 0.4% as vaccine fever cools

THE Straits Times Index (STI) fell 11.59 points or 0.42 per cent to 2,777 on Thursday, in what IG senior market strategist Pan Jingyi described as "some cooling of the vaccine enthusiasm".

She added that the blue-chip index is expected to remain capped by resistances at around highs during the June-to-July period, and that it would likely need further booster shots of good news to break through that level.

About 1.76 billion shares worth S$1.61 billion changed hands on Thursday, with losers marginally outnumbering gainers 212 to 210.

Shares of Dairy Farm International fell the most among index constituents. They ended US$0.19 or 4.19 per cent lower at US$4.35, two weeks after reporting a mixed set of third-quarter results with strong sales and profit growth in grocery retail, mitigated by lower sales and profit in its health and beauty and Maxim’s segments. (see clarification note)

Jiutian Chemical topped the "most active" list for the day, adding S$0.007 or 8.43 per cent to S$0.09, with some 215.7 million shares changing hands, after the company last week posted a strong set of third-quarter results.

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Regional markets generally finished lower, except for the Shanghai Composite Index which added 0.47 per cent. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.36 per cent, while the Hang Seng Index fell 0.71 per cent, and Malaysia's KLCI ended 1.31 per cent lower for the day. strategist Margaret Yang noted that the Singapore stock market saw significant institutional money inflow in early November, with S$299 million and S$564 million being pumped into local stocks in the first two weeks respectively, with a focus on investments in banks, aviation, food and beverage, and real estate stocks.

"This reflects a pick-up in risk appetite from institutional investors, who might have started a new round of bargain hunting after months of net selling. A string of positive vaccine news also lifted investor confidence," she said.

She added that technically, the STI appears to be temporarily overbought, and thus may be vulnerable to a technical pull-back below a key resistance level at 2,800, while an immediate support level can be found at 2,703.


Clarification note: The article has been amended to reflect Dairy Farm International as the greatest index decliner of the day, instead of Ascendas Reit.

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