Singapore stocks fall amid Covid-19 fears

The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 1 per cent to close at 3,184.76.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 1 per cent to close at 3,184.76.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - It was mostly a sea of red across the Singapore market on Monday, as investors' fears over Covid-19 grew, amid fresh community cases emerging in recent days.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) fell 1 per cent to close at 3,184.76. Across the broader market, decliners outnumbered gainers 345 to 160, after 1.71 billion securities worth $1.46 billion changed hands.

Ms Margaret Yang, DailyFX strategist, said the virus situation, especially with the resurgence in India, is back under the spotlight. She noted that trading volumes on the Singapore Exchange were rather high - considering that major markets in China and Japan were closed - suggesting that investors may be getting nervous from rising Covid-19 cases in the local community, and the tightening of social-distancing measures.

Nearly all the constituents on the STI ended in the red, with Wilmar International leading the decline. The counter fell 4 per cent to close at $5.01.

DBS Group Research said in a note on Monday that certain counters such as Genting Singapore and ComfortDelGro could be affected by the tightened Covid-19 measures, such as reduced capacity at attractions and employees being asked to work from home.

Genting Singapore shares fell 1.7 per cent to close at $0.85; shares of ComfortDelGro also ended lower at $1.69, down 1.7 per cent.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the sole STI gainer, rising 2.8 per cent to close at $1.47. The company had on Thursday (April 29) announced an 89 per cent increase in its first-quarter net profit, with its outstanding order book also at the highest level since 2009.

Elsewhere in the region, markets mostly closed lower.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 1.3 per cent and the Kospi in South Korea ended 0.7 per cent lower.

Australia shares finished little changed on Monday, with the ASX 200 rising 0.04 per cent.