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STI down 0.14%, while penny gold miners ride gold rush

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of Wall Street last Friday, Singapore shares dipped on Monday, with the Straits Times Index (STI) down 3.72 points or 0.14 per cent to 2,575.79. Losers outnumbered gainers 250 to 179, after about 1.45 billion securities worth S$1.05 billion changed hands.

The biggest loser on the index was property developer Hongkong Land, which fell US$0.11 or 2.84 per cent to US$3.77, on market expectations that Hong Kong’s new Covid-19 wave could prompt office downsizing in non-core districts and lead to a decline in office rents this year. The stock has been on a losing streak since last Tuesday.

The next biggest loser was ground-handling firm Sats, which lost S$0.07 or 2.47 per cent to S$2.77 amid a bleak outlook for the aviation sector. Bloomberg Intelligence on Monday said that its revenue and earnings woes may persist until March 2021.  Share purchases by Sats president and chief executive Alexander Charles Hungate and Sats director Tan Soo Nan two weeks ago had bolstered prices for a while, but the gains were short-lived.

Gold miners also crowded the list of the most active counters on Monday, as gold prices hit fresh life-time highs of more than US$1,944  per ounce on Monday, benefiting from monetary and fiscal stimulus by global central banks. 

Penny stocks in the gold-mining sector such as Anchor Resources, Wilton Resources, LionGold and CNMC Goldmine, all saw heavy trading of more than 50 million shares traded, coupled with double-digit gains in prices (except for LionGold, which closed flat).

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The performance of regional markets tied in with analyst expectations of muted trading, after Wall Street concluded on a weak note towards the end of last week, on the back of renewed US-China tensions. 

Malaysia’s KLCI added 0.12 per cent and China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.26 per cent; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dipped 0.41  per cent and Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.16 per cent. 

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