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Singapore stocks in the red after Wall Street slide; STI opens 1% lower

SINGAPORE shares slipped in early trade on Friday, tracking losses in the US markets overnight due to disappointing jobless claims data.

Singapore’s benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) headed down 1 per cent or 26.08 points to 2,586.27 as at 9.19am.

Losers outnumbered gainers 141 to 61, after 156.1 million securities worth S$157.6 million changed hands.

Almost all the index stocks, including the local lenders, were in the red.

DBS fell S$0.40 or 1.9 per cent to S$20.70 as at 9.03am, OCBC Bank dropped S$0.05 or 0.6 per cent to S$9.05, while United Overseas Bank declined by S$0.18 or 0.9 per cent to S$20.34.

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Analysts say it will be a stab in the dark to assess the full impact of Covid-19 relief on the banking trio’s earnings, given that some “zombie companies” are likely hanging on merely by the government’s relief support. Part of the three lenders’ quarterly income reflects accrued income from borrowers taking a debt holiday.

Keppel Corp lost S$0.09 or 1.5 per cent to S$5.86 as at 9.03am. The conglomerate on Friday warned that it will recognise material impairments in its results for the second quarter this year, mainly from the offshore and marine business. On Thursday, Keppel also said that one of its funds is set to invest 1.5 billion yuan (S$300 million) to acquire and develop a data centre in southern China.

Singapore Airlines was down S$0.04 or 1.1 per cent to S$3.65 as at 9.17am. The flag carrier on Thursday evening said it secured S$750 million in funding against some of its Airbus and Boeing aircraft to shore up liquidity amid sinking demand during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Only three STI constituents were in the green by 9.15am on Friday. Hongkong Land rose US$0.04 or 1 per cent to US$3.92, Jardine Matheson Holdings advanced US$0.05 or 0.1 per cent to US$40.00, while Jardine Strategic Holdings gained US$0.07 or 0.4 per cent to US$19.82.

Wall Street stocks had tumbled at Thursday’s close, with high-flying tech shares falling especially hard as a jump in jobless claims exacerbated worries about economic weakness.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index ended down 2.3 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.3 per cent, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.2 per cent.

In Japan, financial markets are closed on Friday for a public holiday.

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