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Singapore stocks end Tuesday lower on renewed virus fears, STI down 0.9%

SINGAPORE shares extended their slide on Tuesday, as fears of a resurgence of the coronavirus, as well as of a Wall Street retreat, continued to dampen investor sentiment.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was scheduled to tell people to resume working from home and to impose new restrictions on pubs, bars and restaurants on Tuesday, in a bid to tackle the country's second wave of Covid-19 infections. Hong Kong, too, extended its virus-related social-distancing measures for another week on the back of fears of a "silent transmission chain" in the community.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said: "One of the dangers to the global recovery would be the imposition - again - of national-level lockdowns in major developed economies. That risk appears to be rising, unfortunately.

"The tone of the week thus far suggests that investors are looking for rallies to sell, not buy into, with the balance of probabilities implying deeper downward corrections to come."

The benchmark Straits Times Index slipped 0.9 per cent or 22.42 points to close at 2,463.29. Some 1.3 billion securities worth S$1.31 billion changed hands in the course of the day, with decliners outnumbering advancers 236 to 201.

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The trio of lenders were among the biggest losers for the day. DBS fell 1.25 per cent or S$0.25 to close at S$19.74; UOB lost 0.99 per cent or S$0.19 to S$19.01, OCBC closed 0.71 per cent or S$0.06 lower at S$8.41.

Aviation-related stocks also booked declines. Singapore Airlines shed 1.75 per cent or S$0.06 to close at S$3.36; gateway services provider SATS ended the day at S$2.76, down 2.13 per cent or S$0.06.

Only five of the 30 constituent stocks ended the day in the green. Jardine Matheson Holdings was the top advancer for the second consecutive day, gaining 1.29 per cent or US$0.53 to close at US$41.70.

Genting Singapore was also among the advancers, rising 0.74 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cents to end the day at S$0.68, with 16.2 million shares traded.

CapitaLand real estate investment trusts (Reits) were among the biggest constituent decliners. CapitaLand Commercial Trust tumbled 4.05 per cent or S$0.07 to S$1.66, while CapitaLand Mall Trust closed 2.97 per cent or S$0.06 lower at S$1.96.

Around the region, stock markets ended the day mixed. The KLCI rose 0.42 per cent, while the Nikkei 225 inched up 0.18 per cent. The Hang Seng Index, however, slipped 0.98 per cent.

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