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New Covid-19 infections weigh on markets, STI down 1.2%

SINGAPORE shares fell alongside Asian equity markets on Monday following a resurgence of Covid-19 infections, notably in the United States.

The Straits Times Index (STI) fell 30.41 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 2,574.10.

Decliners outpaced advancers 297 to 179, as 2.48 billion shares with S$1.03 billion having changed hands. 

The optimism that fuelled recovery from the March troughs has since been dented on the back of the increasing risk of a second of wave of coronavirus infections in key cities. 

IG market analyst Pan Jingyi said that the “10 million mark for global Covid-19 cases had tipped the scale in the direction of risk-off for markets going into Monday”.

In Singapore, investors are likely to stay on the sidelines given the uncertainty heading into Q2 2020 results, as well as city-state's focus on its General Election, with polling day being July 10, said a DBS report.

Among STI constituents, the best performer was Dairy Farm International, which rose 2 per cent or US$0.09 to US$4.62.

At the bottom of STI’s table was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, falling 3.1 per cent or three Singapore cents to 92.5 cents. ComfortDelGro also found itself among the bottom three. It declined 2.6 per cent or S$0.04 to S$1.48. This comes after the transport giant on Friday said it expects to report a net loss for the first half this year. 

The banking trio ended the day in the red. DBS fell 1.4 per cent to S$20.52, UOB lost 1.3 per cent to S$20.08, while OCBC Bank dipped 1.4 per cent to S$8.91.

Meanwhile Genting Singapore was the most heavily traded stock for the day, rising 0.7 per cent to 76.5 Singapore cents; nearly 40 million of its shares changed hands.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, benchmark indices mostly ended lower. Malaysia, however, bucked the trend with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index up 0.4 per cent to 1,494.43 points. 

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