STI rises 0.3% amid hopes of slowing US inflation, rate cuts

SINGAPORE – Shares in Singapore ended higher on Jan 9, taking the cue from Wall Street’s tech-led overnight gains and speculation of more stimulus from China.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 10.94 points or 0.3 per cent to 3,197.96. Most key gauges in the region except for South Korea advanced as traders regained some confidence ahead of Thursday’s release of the US Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Mr Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management remarked in a note: “With growth and inflation remaining subdued, the emerging picture suggests a Federal Reserve that is normalising and likely to cut rates this year, possibly as soon as March or May if inflation cooperates.

“The critical debate now revolves around the pace and intensity of this follow-through. Thursday’s US CPI report is anticipated to be crucial in providing further insights.”

China is also set to publish December CPI figures on Jan 12 amid speculation that its central bank will cut lending rates soon to spur economic growth.

Across the broader market, turnover in the local bourse came in at 1.05 billion securities worth $798.8 million. Gainers outnumbered losers with 281 counters up and 254 down.

Parkway Life Reit inched $0.02 or 0.6 per cent higher to close at $3.69. OCBC Investment Research has deemed the counter a “buy” with a fair value of $4.27, given the Reit’s defensive and stable portfolio and undemanding valuation, among other positive factors.

CapitaLand Investment rose $0.04 or 1.3 per cent to $3.05. Its lodging business unit The Ascott and CapitaLand Wellness Fund have jointly acquired a freehold 308-unit lodging property in Singapore which will be upgraded and rebranded under the lyf brand. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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