Singapore shares fall for fourth day amid stricter Covid -19 measures

The Straits Times Index fell 0.8 per cent or 25.54 points to close at 3,153.59 on May 5, 2021. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - The bearish mood in the Singapore markets continued on Wednesday (May 5) as investors reacted to tighter Covid-19 measures announced by the Government amid a rise in community cases.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) fell 0.8 per cent or 25.54 points on Wednesday to close at 3,153.59, extending a losing streak for the fourth session, with all but three of the index counters ending in the red.

CGS-CIMB analyst Lim Siew Khee said reduced activities would impact transport stocks, such as ComfortDelGro and SBS Transit, and retail real estate investment trusts (Reit). There could also be profit-taking in banks and travel-related stocks such as Singapore Airlines (SIA) given their year-to-date outperformance.

SIA shares fell 3 per cent on Wednesday to close at $4.82, while ComfortDelGro also ended 1.2 per cent lower at $1.66.

Finishing at the bottom of the index for the day was Ascendas Reit, which fell 3.8 per cent to close at $3. It said on Wednesday its private placement of 142.7 million units was around 2.6 times covered, with issue price at $2.944 apiece, the lower end of the indicative range of $2.944 to $3.019.

Across the broader market, losers outnumbered gainers 353 to 151, after 1.60 billion securities worth $1.42 billion changed hands.

In relation to the tighter measures, RHB analyst Shekhar Jaiswal said: "While there will be a near-term slowdown, we do not expect a sharp decline in economic activity amid the continuing vaccination drive, and far better testing and contact-tracing capabilities now, compared to last year."

He added: "We continue recommending a balanced investment strategy, with exposure to high-yielding stocks that offer earnings and dividend visibility to protect against downside risks."

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.5 per cent while Malaysia's KLCI slipped 0.8 per cent. Australia shares ended higher, with the ASX 200 up 0.4 per cent. Markets in Japan, China and South Korea were closed for a holiday.

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