STI slips while other Asian bourses mostly ended in the green

CapitaLand was the worst performer on the STI, falling 3.8 per cent to $3.27. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) slipped on Monday, extending last week's decline to finish down 0.6 per cent.

CapitaLand was the worst performer on the STI, falling 3.8 per cent to $3.27, with the counter among the most heavily traded in terms of value. This came after the property giant said on Friday it expects to report a loss for the full year ended Dec 31, 2020 due to the impact from revaluations and impairments.

Just four STI counters managed gains on Monday, including Hongkong Land, Keppel DC Reit and Jardine Cycle & Carriage.

At the top of the STI performance table was Wilmar International, which rose 1.8 per cent to $5.53. DBS Group Research on Thursday said the company deserves a higher valuation multiple than its crude palm oil plantation peers, with a raised target price of $6.67.

Shares of mainboard-listed retailer FJ Benjamin Holdings were up 25 per cent on Monday to two Singapore cents. It announced on Sunday that it has obtained in-principle approval from the SGX to transfer to the Catalist board.

Decliners outnumbered gainers 269 to 220 on Monday, with some 3.45 billion securities worth $1.34 billion changing hands.

Elsewhere in Asia, major markets were mostly in the green on Monday. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.5 per cent, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 per cent, while the Kospi in South Korea gained 2.2 per cent.

It was reported on Monday that China overtook the US as the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020.

"The FDI story has definitely lifted China and its near neighbours today, blowing an economic recovery tailwind into geographically adjacent markets," said Mr Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for the Asia-Pacific at Oanda.

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