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STI gains 3.4% as market absorbs Solidarity Budget measures

THE Straits Times Index (STI) ended Monday up 81.30 points or 3.4 per cent at 2,470.59 points.

This comes as the government on Monday unveiled an unprecedented S$5.1 billion Solidarity Budget to help cushion the impact of the “circuit breaker” distancing measures on the economy. 

The best performer among the index’s constituents was agribusiness firm Wilmar International, which gained 8.3 per cent or S$0.26 to S$3.40.

Among other stocks that recorded gains was CapitaLand, which rose S$0.12 or 4.6 per cent to S$2.74. The firm announced on Monday that it has reopened all its malls in China, which had been previously shut for the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Singapore banks, which were among the hardest hit stocks last Friday on the back of rate slashes, also recorded gains. DBS edged up S$0.48 or 2.7 per cent to S$18.40; UOB rose S$0.68 or 3.6 per cent to S$19.48, while OCBC gained S$0.33 or 3.9 per cent to S$8.71.

All but two - ComfortDelGro and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) - of the blue-chip index’s 30 components ended in the black. ComfortDelGro fell S$0.02 or 1.4 per cent to S$1.41; SPH saw a S$0.03 or 1.9 per cent decline to S$1.55.

Advancers outpaced decliners 300 to 121 for the day, with 1.51 billion shares worth S$1.43 billion changing hands.

The STI’s performance was in line with other Asian markets, with sentiments lifted as some countries report falling death rates.

This includes China, which has been experiencing some economic recovery. But economists at Moody’s Analytics said in a report on Monday that it will take time for domestic demand to return to pre-Covid-19 levels and foreign demand remains weak. 

“Global demand is set to halt for much of 2020, which will likely prove to be China’s biggest obstacle in its pursuit of a V-shaped recovery,” noted the Moody’s Analytics report.

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