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Singapore shares decline at open; STI down 0.6%

SINGAPORE stocks opened weaker at the start of the week, with the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) losing 15.07 points or 0.6 per cent to 2,589.44 as at 9.01am. 

This was in line with the rest of Asia, tracking a Wall Street rout on Friday, as fears grow over a resurgence of coronavirus infections in the US. 

On the Singapore bourse, losers outnumbered gainers 104 to 35, after about 72.1 million securities worth S$73.3 million changed hands. 

Among the index securities, the most heavily traded by volume was Genting Singapore, which gained S$0.03 or 4 per cent to S$0.79, with 6.9 million shares traded. 

Meanwhile, ComfortDelGro lost S$0.03 or 2 per cent to S$1.49, with 3.5 million shares changing hands. This comes after the transport giant on Friday said it expects to report a net loss for the first half this year

The trio of banking stocks were down in early trade. DBS fell S$0.28 or 1.4 per cent to S$20.54, UOB lost S$0.25 or 1.2 per cent to S$20.10, while OCBC Bank dipped S$0.04 or 0.4 per cent to S$9. 

Other active stocks include Biolidics, which shed S$0.08 or 19.5 per cent to S$0.33. The Catalist-listed company on Sunday called off the distribution of its Covid-19 antibody test kits in the US and signed a non-binding letter of intent with Aytu BioScience to jointly develop a new kit instead. 

Over in the US, Wall Street ended lower on Friday on worries about surging Covid-19 cases. The Dow plunged 2.8 per cent or 730 points to 25,015.55, the broad-based S&P 500 tumbled 2.4 per cent to 3,009.05, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 2.6 per cent to 9,757.22.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, equities got off to a shaky start on Monday. Japan's Topix dropped 1.3 per cent as at 9.01am in Tokyo, South Korea's Kospi retreated 1.6 per cent, while Australia stocks declined 0.8 per cent.

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