STI starts week on bearish note amid Covid-19 setbacks

The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 41.10 points, or 1.3 per cent, to end at 3,111.20. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Renewed restrictions amid a spike in coronavirus cases, particularly in the KTV cluster, took a toll on market sentiment on Monday with investors turning bearish.

The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 41.10 points, or 1.3 per cent, to end at 3,111.20. Across the broader market, the number of decliners came in at 366, more than double the 155 advancers, after some 1.42 billion securities worth $1.16 billion changed hands.

It was a similar story across the region, with other markets ending in a sea of red on Monday.

The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index fell 0.2 per cent, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.3 per cent, and the Hang Seng Index sank 1.8 per cent. The Kospi and Jakarta Composite Index, too, slipped 1 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said "increasing nerves" about the more virulent Delta variant of the virus are "sapping recovery hopes across the Asia-Pacific". But this, he noted, was not unique to the region.

IT consultancy services provider Azeus Systems Holdings was the top advancer on Monday, closing up 7.7 per cent at $2.24.

CapitaLand's investors cheered the conglomerate's updates on its restructuring plans.

CapitaLand Investment is aiming to ramp up its funds under management to $100 billion by 2024 from $78 billion last year, and its lodging business to 160,000 units under management by 2023 from 123,000 units last year.

The stock ended on Monday at $3.88, up 1.8 per cent.

The trio of local lenders were among the biggest decliners. DBS shed 1.8 per cent to $29.58, UOB lost 1.5 per cent to $25.69, and OCBC Bank fell 1.7 per cent to $11.86.

Sembcorp Marine was the most heavily traded counter by volume on Monday, with 66.7 million shares changing hands over the course of the day. The counter fell 0.9 per cent to close at 11.4 cents.

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