Bulls And Bears

STI falls on resurgence of Covid-19 cases globally

Widespread sell-off in Asia-Pac markets as second wave of virus hits key cities

Local shares joined their regional counterparts in a widespread sell-off yesterday following a resurgence of Covid-19 infections, notably in the United States.

The jittery mood left the Straits Times Index (STI) down 30.41 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 2,574.10.

Losers outpaced gainers 297 to 179 with 2.48 billion shares worth $1.03 billion changing hands.

The optimism that fuelled recovery from the March troughs has since been dented on the back of the increasing risk of a second of wave of coronavirus infections in key cities.

Investors here are likely to stay on the sidelines given the uncertainty heading into the second quarter results season as well as the focus on the upcoming general election, said a DBS report.

The best performer among STI constituents was Dairy Farm International, which rose 2 per cent to US$4.62.

At the bottom of the STI's table was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, falling 3.1 per cent to 92.5 cents.

ComfortDelGro also found itself among the bottom three, declining 2.6 per cent to $1.48. This came after the transport giant announced on Friday that it expects to report a net loss for the first half of this year.

The banking trio ended the day in the red. DBS fell 1.4 per cent to $20.52, UOB lost 1.3 per cent to $20.08, while OCBC Bank dipped 1.4 per cent to $8.91.

Genting Singapore was the most heavily traded, rising 0.7 per cent to 76.5 cents with nearly 40 million shares changing hands.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, benchmark indices mostly ended lower.

 

The Hang Seng Index shed 1.01 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.61 per cent.

South Korea fell 1.93 per cent as investors sought safe assets after a resurgence in global coronavirus cases hit recovery hopes. Japan lost more than 2 per cent while Australian shares ended 1.5 per cent down to close at a two-week low.

Malaysia bucked the trend, with the bourse up 0.4 per cent.

"Equity market consolidation is broadly in line with our thinking that equities were getting ahead of economic fundamentals," said JP Morgan Asset Management strategist Tai Hui. "The rebound of the infection rate, especially in the US, shows that the road to full recovery is going to be long and that it will require medical solutions, such as a vaccine," he added.

• Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2020, with the headline 'STI falls on resurgence of Covid-19 cases globally'. Print Edition | Subscribe