Singapore stocks rebound on hopes of China stimulus measures; STI up 0.6%

SINGAPORE – Local shares snapped this week’s losing streak with a solid effort on Jan 24, although the rest of the region was mixed despite another record session for Wall Street’s blue chips.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.6 per cent or 18.08 points to 3,153.33.

Gainers outpaced losers 343 to 206 on trade of 1.7 billion shares worth $938.1 million.

Most STI constituents were in the black, led by developer Hongkong Land, which rose 2.9 per cent to US$3.19.

Other property players also fared well. Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust climbed 2.7 per cent to $1.13, while CapitaLand Ascendas Reit advanced 2.4 per cent to $2.97.

Conglomerate Jardine C&C was the STI’s biggest loser, falling 2.4 per cent to $27.03.

Seatrium, which rose 1.9 per cent to 10.6 cents, was again the most actively traded by volume, with 364.2 million shares changing hands.

Regional bourses ended mixed after a similar session on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500 set a third consecutive record.

South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.4 per cent and the Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.8 per cent, but Australia’s ASX 200 edged up 0.1 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 3.6 per cent.

The Shanghai Composite advanced 1.8 per cent on the back of news that Chinese officials are considering a stimulus package to boost the economy.

OCBC Investment Research expects China’s policymakers to implement a stabilisation package to boost market sentiment and stability, which would support a trading rebound in the near term.

Separately, Saxo market strategist Charu Chanana said markets will begin pricing in the risk of a Trump presidency, noting that his policies could bring volatility.

“The possibility of trade wars and higher import tariffs would also likely make the Federal Reserve concerned about the path of inflation,” she added.

“Together with risks of overheating the economy, the market may be forced to push back on the Fed easing expectations.” THE BUSINESS TIMES

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