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STI Caps Gains on Wednesday

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by Donavan Lim

Traders stayed on the sidelines ahead of the US July 4 Independence Day holiday and the release of key economic data.

Nonetheless, Singapore equities closed slightly higher as market participants continued to keep faith that stimulus packages are underway by central banks, although gains are capped.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) closed at 2,948.77 Wednesday, up 3.44 points.

“Investors are increasingly pinning their hopes on another bout of monetary easing being launched by at least one the world’s major central banks. This has been the latest catalyst for markets, having replaced the EU summit which had been the driving force at the start of the week for this mini rally,” said Justin Harper of IG Markets in Singapore.

Commodities plays came under selling pressure as traders locked-in gains. Golden Agri-Resources fell to S$$0.705 despite an upgrade of its target price to S$0.810 by Oversea Chinese Banking Corp. Its counterpart, Wilmar International, also slipped to S$3.69 and Noble Group fell to S$1.145

Property companies continued their fine run. CapitaLand edged up 0.4 per cent higher at S$2.82 and CapitaMalls Asia closed 0.8 per cent higher at S$1.59. Hong Kong Land surged 2.1 per cent to US$5.97, mainly attributed to its exposure to the Chinese market.

Oil rig builders also fared well. Sembcorp Marine closed higher at S$4.96 and rival Keppel Corp edged up to close at S$10.86 on higher crude oil prices.

Meanwhile, bourses across Asia had a lacklustre day.

The Nikkei 225 index closed at 9,104.17, gaining 37.58 points while the Hang Seng Index lost 25.78 points to 19,709.75.