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Singapore shares end week in negative territory, STI down 0.56%

THE Straits Times Index ended the week down 14.65 points or 0.56 per cent at 2,581.32 points, as investors remained cautious amid the virus-stricken economy.  

“A directionless session from Wall Street has set up much the same picture in Asia today. Most major indices are drifting each side unchanged lethargically,” said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley. 

Mr Halley also warned that although Asia continues to be boosted by investor sentiment regarding a recovery in global trade, many regional markets are now entering “overbought territory.”

The best performer among the index’s constituents was Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering), which gained 3.67 per cent or 12 Singapore cents for the day to close at S$3.39. 

This was despite the company’s profit falling by 4.4 per cent to S$257.4 million for the first half of the year from S$269.3 million a year ago. The board of directors had approved an interim dividend of S$0.05 per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2020, unchanged from the previous year. OCBC Investment Research noted that the company was “seeking to capture opportunities” from the pandemic, and was set to receive more than S$300 million in support throughout the year. 

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Shares of aviation-related counters such as Singapore Airlines (SIA) and aviation support services provider SATS, too, saw increases in their prices. SIA shares gained 2.16 per cent or eight Singapore cents to close at S$3.79, while SATS closed at S$2.94, up by 2.08 per cent or six Singapore cents. 

At the bottom of the STI’s performance table were heavyweights Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings which fell by 2.78 per cent and 2.37 per cent respectively. Other members of the Jardine Group, Hongkong Land and Jardine Cycle and Carriage saw their respective share prices fall by 3.17 per cent and 1.96 per cent too. Hongkong Land is trading on a cum dividend basis. 

Banks, too, ended the week in the red. DBS shed 35 Singapore cents or 1.63 per cent to close at S$21.07, OCBC fell two Singapore cents or 0.22 per cent to S$8.95 and UOB lost one cent or 0.05 per cent to close at S$20.07. 

Genting Singapore emerged the most heavily traded stock for the day, with 28.9 million shares changing hands over the course of the day. The counter closed unchanged at 72 Singapore cents. 

Asian markets ended the week fairly mixed. The Nikkei 225 Index increased by 0.17 per cent or 39.75 points, while the Hang Seng Composite Index closed 0.21 per cent higher, or 7.95 points up. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index was down 0.75 per cent or 11.83 points to close at 1,564.59 points. 

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