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Singapore stocks decline amid mixed regional showing

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times Index (STI) fell 0.2 per cent or 6.49 points to 3,207.72 on Thursday (May 25) as markets in the region put up a mixed showing.

Across the broader market, losers beat gainers 308 to 257 after 1.3 billion securities worth $1 billion changed hands.

Regional stocks were mixed on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.4 per cent, while South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.5 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 1.9 per cent.

Oanda Asia-Pacific senior market analyst Kelvin Wong noted that Chinese benchmark stock indices and their proxies have shed some of their earlier “China reopening theme play” gains.

“The key reasons for such weakness have been lacklustre leading economic data out from China and the ‘inaction’ of the People’s Bank of China to implement more accommodative monetary policies,” he said.

In addition, he noted that other Asia-Pacific ex-Japan stock indices have been indirectly intertwined with the performance of the Chinese stock market.

He also found that the movement of the USD/CNH has had a high degree of correlation with China equities as well as these indices.

“(The) positive momentum factor remains intact for USD/CNH, which may add further potential headwinds for China and Asia ex-Japan equities,” he said.

On the STI, UOB was the top gainer, rising 1.2 per cent or $0.33 to $28.16.

The other local banks were also in the black. DBS rose 0.7 per cent or $0.21 to $31.61, while OCBC rose 0.4 per cent or $0.05 to $12.25.

Meanwhile, DFI Retail Group was at the bottom of the table, shedding 3 per cent or US$0.09 to close at US$2.87. THE BUSINESS TIMES