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STI drifts 10.89 points lower to 2,620.19 after Q2 GDP advance estimates, pharma stocks jump

REGIONAL markets were broadly softer on Tuesday, following an overnight dip in US technology heavyweights that weighed on the S&P500 index.

In Singapore, sentiment was also dampened by advance estimates that showed that Q2 GDP shrank 41.2 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis, versus a contraction of 3.3 per cent in Q1, a sober reminder of the impact Covid-19 is having on the economy.

Against that backdrop, the Straits Times Index drifted through the day to end at 2,620.19, marking a decline of 10.89 points or 0.41 per cent for the day.

Only four component stocks of the STI managed to close in positive territory, the most significant of which was Singapore Telecommunications, which ended the day at S$2.52, up 0.8 per cent.

Singtel said earlier this month that its Australian unit Optus will launch its 11th satellite deployed for Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

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Singtel also recently said it would liquidate its video-streaming unit Hooq, which counted Sony and Warner Brothers as co-owners. South Korea’s e-commerce giant Coupang Corp is reportedly planning to buy the assets of Hooq.

Among the smaller cap stocks, there was excitement today among pharmaceutical plays.

Hyphens Pharma International closed at S$0.48, up 50 per cent for the day. The company said on Monday that its patent for Ceradan Advanced, an emollient therapy formulated for eczema-prone skin, has been granted in the UK.

The patent is also currently pending approval in 13 other jurisdictions.

iX Biopharma also saw its shares take off in the afternoon. The stock closed at S$0.315, up 26 per cent for the day.

Two weeks ago, the company reported “robust uptake” in Australia for a product called Xativa since its launch in April. Xativa is a medicinal cannabidiol in a wafer that dissolves when placed under a patient’s tongue.

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