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STI falls 0.48% on first trading day of the week, alongside regional markets

LOCAL shares closed lower in tandem with regional markets amid a bearishness driven largely by pockets of resurgence of Covid-19 across the globe, particularly in Europe and the UK.

The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 12 points or 0.48 per cent to 2,485.71, after 1.37 billion securities worth S$988.07 million changed hands. Decliners outnumbered advancers 350 to 127.

Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, noted that an added "drip-feed of negativity" is plaguing markets amid the approaching US elections.

He said: "There is a remarkable tendency for fear to build, and volatility rises about four to six weeks before voting events, even if we have talked about them for months ahead.

"There is always a bit of a panic attack, and this one could be worse when viewed through the coronavirus lens."

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Regional markets mostly ended the day lower in line with a Wall Street retreat. The KLCI dipped 0.48 per cent, while the Hang Seng Index lost 2.06 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.63 per cent. Only the Nikkei 225 bucked the trend, inching up 0.18 per cent.

Of the 30 constituent stocks, only three finished the day up. Jardine Matheson Holdings was the biggest advancer for the day, closing US$0.64 or 1.58 per cent higher at US$41.17. Jardine Strategic Holdings advanced US$0.20 or 0.97 per cent to US$20.85. (see amendment note)

Sembcorp Industries was the final gainer for the day, following news of its S$1.5 million investment into a fund to support essential workers, charities and migrant workers. The counter ended the day at S$1.34, up one Singapore cent or 0.75 per cent.

On the other end of the spectrum, beleaguered Singapore Airlines emerged the biggest loser. The stock shed S$0.08 or 2.29 per cent to close at S$3.42. Airline gateway services provider SATS lost S$0.04 or 1.4 per cent to end the day at S$2.82.

Amendment note: An earlier version of this story wrongly stated that Jardine Matheson Holdings closed 1.68 per cent higher. It was in fact up 1.58 per cent. The article has been amended to reflect this change.

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