Bulls And Bears

S'pore shares flat as investors stay cautious amid Covid-19 surge

Benchmark STI gains just one point to close at 3,088.84 * Mapletree Logistics Trust, Yangzijiang top performers * Region mixed: HK, Japan rise; S. Korea, Malaysia, Australia fall

Local shares wallowed in the doldrums for much of trading yesterday, with investors wary over an increase in Covid-19 infections here.

The air of caution that prevailed left the Straits Times Index (STI) little changed, up just one point, or 0.03 per cent, at 3,088.84.

On the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers 270 to 185 with 1.97 billion shares worth $1.17 billion changing hands.

"In Singapore, Covid-19 cases continue to see an uptick, with concerns over increasing risks to reopening plans," said IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong. "That said, having 80 per cent of its population fully vaccinated, a more likely scenario may be a delay in reopening, rather than a rollback to previous restriction measures."

The top performers among the index's constituents were Mapletree Logistics Trust, which closed 2.9 per cent higher at $2.11; and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, which ended 1.2 per cent up, at $1.66.

At the bottom of the table were Jardine Cycle & Carriage and Dairy Farm International, both members of Jardine Matheson Group.

Jardine C&C fell 1.3 per cent to $19.39, while Dairy Farm slipped 1.1 per cent to US$3.56.

The trio of local banks also declined: DBS was down 0.4 per cent to $30.10; UOB fell 0.4 per cent to $25.56; and OCBC dipped 0.1 per cent to $11.60.

Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed after investors took stock of mediocre United States jobs data.

Wall Street was mixed, with the Nasdaq up 0.5 per cent, while the S&P 500 closed less than 0.1 per cent higher and the Dow slipped about 0.1 per cent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.2 per cent and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 per cent. But the Kospi in South Korea ended a four-day rally and closed down 1 per cent, while the Bursa Malaysia KLCI slipped 0.3 per cent.

Australian shares had their worst day in two weeks, with the ASX 200 closing down 0.6 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2021, with the headline 'S'pore shares flat as investors stay cautious amid Covid-19 surge'. Subscribe