Singapore shares closed lower yesterday, snapping a five-day winning streak with the key Straits Times Index (STI) losing 28.19 points, or 1.05 per cent, to finish at 2,661.42.
Trading sentiments have improved lately, as more countries re-open their economies and ease lockdown restrictions. But caution has prevailed, as a lockdown returned in the Australian city of Melbourne.
While activity remains weak, investors have been focusing on the tentative signs of encouraging data, and seem hopeful of a more significant pickup in the third quarter of this year.
Schroders wrote in a report: "However, beyond this point, uncertainty abounds. Our view is that the coronavirus is contained, but epidemiologists stress the risks of a second wave of infections. At the same time, markets remain volatile and sensitive to geopolitical headlines and resurgent US-China tensions."
IG market strategist Jingyi Pan expects some caution towards the later part of the week, with the big banks' earnings call due next week.
"Q1 earnings had captured only a small part of the Covid-19 hit to the US economy, with the dent mostly absorbed into Q2 thus far. Despite substantial provisions made, a true picture will arrive only with the earnings results," she said.
In Singapore, turnover was 2.3 billion shares worth $1.24 billion, from Monday's 1.86 billion shares worth $1.17 billion. Of the STI constituents, 23 counters posted losses and five chalked up gains. The losses in the local bourse were led by the three big banks and property stalwart CapitaLand, which together lopped off over 17 index points from the STI.
On the news front, Spackman Entertainment Group was the third-most active counter, with 143 million shares worth $1.5 million done.
The counter finished the day 10 per cent up at 1.1 cent. Spackman said it has inked a non-binding letter of intent with a potential buyer's representative for its major asset, production house Zip Cinema.
Top Glove Corp added 1.5 per cent to $6.60. In a report released yesterday, AmBank Research maintained an "overweight" rating on Malaysia's glove sector and said it expects the sales volume and average selling price of gloves to "grow exponentially" in the second half of this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most other regional bourses also took a breather from the recent strong rally, although China's Shanghai Composite extended gains by another 0.37 per cent yesterday.
Japan fell 0.44 per cent and South Korea ended 1.09 per cent down.
Hong Kong shed 1.38 per cent, while Malaysia lost 0.65 per cent.