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Singapore shares rise amid mixed regional trading on Thursday, STI up 0.2%

SINGAPORE – Investors here and elsewhere had little to inspire them on Thursday, but that didn’t prevent some regional bourses from taking a belting.

At least shares in Singapore showed some resilience: The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) inched up 0.2 per cent or 6.96 points to 3,206.99 with losers outnumbering gainers 293 to 281 on trade of 1.3 billion securities worth $920 million.

Some key regional indexes were not so lucky. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dived 1.4 per cent and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 1.5 per cent. Malaysian shares fared better, declining just 0.4 per cent, while Australia’s market dipped 0.1 per cent to close at its lowest point in two months.

South Korean markets are closed for Mid-Autumn Festival on Thursday and Friday.

The lack of direction was in part due to a lacklustre session on Wall Street overnight, where the S&P 500 inched up a tad while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.2 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.2 per cent.

IG market analyst Yeap Jun Rong noted that the relatively quiet economic calendar on Thursday may have led to more subdued sentiment, while reservations on risk-taking may continue to revolve around China’s property sector.

He also noted that market participants are buying into the narrative that high interest rates will linger for longer.

“Perhaps one to watch over the medium term is an eventual un-inversion of the 10-year and two-year US Treasury yield spread, which tends to precede a recession on the past four occasions,” Mr Yeap added.

Hongkong Land was the STI’s top gainer, rising 4 per cent to US$3.61, while Frasers Logistics and Commercial Trust was the biggest decliner, down 2.8 per cent to $1.06.

The trio of local banks ended higher: DBS Bank rose 0.2 per cent to $33.50; UOB increased 0.1 per cent to $28.28; and OCBC Bank gained 0.4 per cent to $12.80. THE BUSINESS TIMES