Local shares took a hit yesterday after disappointing numbers on manufacturing took the spring out of investors’ steps.

Production in the key sector fell 0.9 per cent year on year last month due to a decline in electronics output and poorer biomedical performance.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) responded by losing 12.07 points, or 0.4 per cent, to close at 2,857.48, but gainers outnumbered losers 253 to 175 on trade of 1.87 billion shares worth $1.25 billion.

Other markets in the region finished in positive territory. Malaysian and Japanese shares each gained 0.9 per cent, the Hang Seng Index added 0.6 per cent and Shanghai rose 0.2 per cent.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley advises investors to keep buying on dips. “With bottomless amounts of cheap central bank cash and vaccine candidates, the great rotation trade and asset price appreciation is set to continue.

“Combined with a US holiday (Thanksgiving), meaning markets are vulnerable to headline risks on a quiet day, Asia is likely to follow America’s lead and book profits and take some risk off the table.”

The trio of lenders were among yesterday’s biggest losers: DBS shed 0.7 per cent to $25.50; UOB fell 0.7 per cent to $23.07 and OCBC dipped 0.6 per cent to $10.07.

On the other hand, glove makers were among the top gainers. Top Glove added 6.9 per cent to $2.34, UG Healthcare rose 10 per cent to 71.5 cents and Riverstone Holdings gained 2.2 per cent to $1.38.

Thai Beverage came out tops among constituent stocks after posting a 2 per cent dip in full-year net profit on the back of an overall contraction amid the pandemic.

The counter closed up 3.5 per cent to 74.5 cents, with 46.7 million shares changing hands.