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STI slips 4.37 points to close at 2,500.78 on Thursday following Fed disappointment

FINANCIAL markets around the world recoiled after the US Federal Reserve said it would keep interest rates low but failed to come up with further stimulus measures.

Benchmark stock indices for Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta ended Thursday in negative territory.

Against that backdrop, Singapore stocks did not perform too poorly. The Straits Times Index (STI) closed 4.37 points or 0.17 per cent lower at 2,500.78.

Among the STI component stocks that ended the day stronger despite the negative sentiment was agribusiness giant Wilmar International. Its shares closed 1.16 per cent higher at S$4.35.

Wilmar is expected to list its Chinese unit on the Shenzhen bourse next month. This long-awaited move could unlock significant value for the group, said some analysts.

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Singapore's leading real estate investment trusts (Reits) also ended Thursday higher. This partly reflected the ongoing hunt for yield in a world of low interest rates. But it also comes amid news of Chinese technology giants such as Tencent, ByteDance and Alibaba investing in Singapore.

Mapletree Commercial Trust was the best performing STI component stock, rising 2.5 per cent to close at S$2.05.

Ascendas Reit climbed 2.18 per cent to S$3.28, while CapitaLand Commercial Trust rose 1.16 per cent to close at S$1.75.

At the end of the spectrum, Sembcorp Industries was the worst performing STI stock after a torrid run over the past week. It closed 2.24 per cent lower at S$1.31.

Among the smaller cap stocks, mobile phone handset designer LCT jumped 37.2 per cent to close at S$0.59. This came after a co-founder of the company made an offer to take it private at S$0.60 per share.

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