Singapore stocks drift higher ahead of Fed decision

Expectations are for policy makers to keep rates on hold.

SGX Logo. Reuters

Singapore stocks ended with slight gains on Wednesday, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's policy decision later in the day for more clues on its tightening plans.

In Asia, stocks edged lower ahead of the Fed decision, with the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index down 0.27 percent.

Expectations are for policy makers to keep rates on hold; clues to the fate of its balance sheet will be key.

The Straits Times Index rose 0.27 percent or 9 points to 3,336. It ended 0.51 percent higher on Tuesday, taking the year-to-date gains to 15.5 percent.

Lenders such as DBS Group added 1 percent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp gained 0.4 percent. OCBC reports its June quarter earnings on Thursday.

The Myanmar-based conglomerate Yoma Strategic Holdings gained 3.4 percent after reporting a 54 percent jump in first-quarter net profit.

Among the laggards, SIA Engineering fell 4 percent after its net profit attributable to equity owners plunged 81.8 percent in the first quarter.

Gold producer CNMC Goldmine Holdings shares fell as much as 10 percent as it expects to report a "significantly lower profit" for the second quarter.

Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust lost 0.5 percent after reporting a 0.3 percent drop in its quarterly distribution per unit.

About 2.7 billion shares worth S$1.2 billion changed hands, with losers outnumbering gainers 272 to 175.