Singapore market ends week mostly unchanged amid virus jitters

The SGX Centre at Shenton Way. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Local stocks ended the week flat as traders stayed cautious amid a rise in coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions that kicked in this week.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) slipped a marginal 0.07 per cent, or 2.21 points, to close at 3,157.05 on Friday.

Losers outpaced gainers 256 to 215 after 1.31 billion shares worth $792.3 million changed hands.

Investors also kept a wary eye on some key data out on Friday. Consumer prices rose for the sixth straight month last month while headline inflation of 2.4 per cent held steady from May, though it fell short of the 2.5 per cent forecast in a private-sector Bloomberg poll.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley is optimistic as Singapore is "streets ahead with its vaccination programme".

"Once (Singapore) gets past these next two months, that should enable it to be an outperformer in the Asean crowd into (the fourth quarter)," he said.

Jardine Matheson Holdings was the top advancer for the second straight day. The counter ended at US$62.59, up 0.6 per cent.

iFast Corporation, which was due to announce its results after market hours on Friday, was also among the top gainers. The stock rose 0.9 per cent to $9.18.

Several conglomerates were among the biggest losers. Venture Corporation retreated 0.4 per cent to $19.07, CapitaLand fell 1.2 per cent to $4 and Keppel Corporation slid 0.9 per cent to $5.30.

Singapore Airlines was another notable decliner after emerging as one of the top advancers on Thursday. The counter closed at $4.91, down 0.8 per cent.

Markets elsewhere ended the day mixed. The Nikkei rose 0.6 per cent, the Kospi inched up 0.1 per cent while Australia's bourse added 0.1 per cent to end at a record high for the second day running.

But the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.5 per cent, Malaysia's KLCI lost 0.3 per cent and the Jakarta Composite shed 0.6 per cent.

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