STI ends day down 1.75%, but chalks up strongest monthly price gain since 2009

The monthly price gain in November 2020 was the strongest for the Straits Times Index. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) ended Monday down 1.75 per cent or 49.87 to close at 2,805.95, as Asian markets fell over hopes of a coronavirus vaccine rollout dampened by an uptick in cases around the world.

Nonetheless, the monthly price gain in November was the strongest for the index since its 21.3 per cent gain in May 2009, said Singapore Exchange market strategist Geoff Howie.

Mapletree Logistics Trust was one of just two constituent stocks that rose, inching up 0.51 per cent or $0.01 to close at $1.97.

Of the STI constituents that fell, Jardine Cycle & Carriage was the biggest loser, slipping 7.57 per cent or $1.59 to close at $19.41.

The Big Three local banks also ended the day in the red. OCBC Bank slipped 0.69 per cent to close at $10.08, DBS lost 1.87 per cent to $25.20. UOB fell by a larger margin of 2.39 per cent to close at $22.51.

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) data on Monday showed that bank lending in October fell for the eighth straight month on continued weakness in business loans.

Loans via the domestic banking unit - which captures lending in all currencies, but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar loans - inched down 0.3 per cent to $675.64 billion in October, against $677.46 billion the month before.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 314 to 156, with 2.9 billion securities worth $3.65 billion changing hands.

Across Asia, markets similarly ended lower.

The Nikkei 225 Index in Japan closed 0.79 per cent lower at 26,433.62, and the Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.49 per cent to close at 3,391.76.

The benchmark Kospi slid 1.60 per cent to end at 2,591.34. For the month, however, the South Korean index was up 14.3 per cent - its sharpest monthly gain in 19 years, amid hopes of a coronavirus vaccine-led recovery.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 2.06 per cent to 26,341.49, as a result of the latest move by the Trump administration amid escalating US-China tensions. Reuters yesterday reported that President Donald Trump was poised to add China's top chipmaker, SMIC, and national offshore oil-and-gas producer, CNOOC, to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, according to a document and sources, thus curbing their access to US investors.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.