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STI down 1.9% over the week on earnings declines and misses

AS THE impact of Covid-19 becomes clearer, with more companies posting earnings declines and misses, the Straits Times Index (STI) on Thursday also fell 43.63 points or 1.7 per cent to 2,529.82. Losers outnumbered gainers 289 to 184, after about 1.99 billion securities worth S$2.97 billion changed hands.

Altogether, the STI fell 1.9 per cent over the course of this short trading week.

Among the top losers was Singapore Airlines, which has implemented more measures to slash costs, including bigger pay cuts for the bosses, a 10 per cent salary reduction for other employees, and early retirement for pilots and ground staff. Its shares extended their decline, losing S$0.11 or 3.12 per cent to S$3.42 on Thursday.

The best performer on the index was Dairy Farm International, which rose US$0.13 or 3.13 per cent to US$4.28, despite reporting a 35 per cent drop in net profit to US$115 million in its first half. Analysts remained positive on it, however. DBS Group Research kept its “buy” rating on the stock, citing its attractive valuation and ongoing transformation that remains “well on track”.

The most active counter of the day was Thai Beverage, which added S$0.01 or 1.59 per cent to S$0.64, with 125.4 million shares changing hands. Earlier this week, JPMorgan had put out a research report on Thai consumer companies, saying that it expected a better showing for those selling staples versus discretionary items, but it was “overweight” on ThaiBev due to its “sufficient valuation discount”.

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Regional markets were a sea of red on the back of continued coronavirus worries. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.26 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.69 per cent, China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.23 per cent, while Malaysia’s KLCI lost 0.48 per cent.

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