STI claws back losses after Trump's Covid-19 news

Published Fri, Oct 2, 2020 · 09:50 PM

THE Straits Times Index (STI) fell as much as 1.2 per cent to 2,469.52 shortly after news broke that US President Donald Trump and his wife tested positive for Covid-19.

But it appeared to be a knee-jerk reaction, as the index clawed back losses to finish 4.63 points or 0.19 per cent lower at 2,496.11 on Friday.

About 946.63 million shares worth S$860.45 million changed hands.

Around the region, markets finished mixed. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.2 per cent, while the Nikkei 225 shed 0.67 per cent. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.79 per cent and Malaysia's KLCI added 0.24 per cent.

Airport ground handler Sats was the best performer of the index, rising S$0.06 or 2.07 per cent to S$2.96, after DBS raised it to a "buy" call with a target price of S$3.66, on the brokerage's assumption of a recovery to pre-Covid levels for international air travel in 2022. It expects the stock to re-rate and normalise ahead of an anticipated vaccine approval in 2021.

The worst performer on the index was Thai Beverage (ThaiBev), which lost S$0.015 or 2.46 per cent to S$0.595, on news that the beverage company was waiting to hear back from its unit Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp if Vietnam's government was planning to divest its remaining stake in the beer maker.


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Whether ThaiBev will increase its stake in the beer maker will depend on valuation and pricing, its chief executive officer Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi said on Thursday.

Sembcorp Marine was the most active counter for the fourth consecutive day, trading strong with a volume of 123.8 million shares, even though its units fell S$0.006 or 3.9 per cent to S$0.148 after a four-day price rally. This was on hopes of a merger with rival Keppel's offshore and marine unit.

Over the course of this week, the STI has gained about 0.96 per cent, with two days of gains and three days of losses.

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