SINGAPORE – Singapore equities ended the first trading day of February in the red as investors remained fairly cautious after a retreat on Wall Street and the declaration of a year-long state of emergency by Myanmar’s military.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) shed 0.2 per cent to finish the day at 2,896.32. On the broader market, decliners narrowly edged out advancers 239 to 234, after some 2.23 billion securities worth $1.44 billion changed hands.
Yet, Axi’s chief global market strategist Stephen Innes argued that the case for a broad-based global economic recovery remains intact amid the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines and new fiscal stimulus from the United States.
iFast was the biggest advancer for the day after its announcement on Saturday that PCCW Solutions – the IT flagship of PCCW Group – won the tender for Hong Kong’s eMPF platform. The counter ended the day at $6.37, up 15.6 per cent.
The trio of lenders also ended the day in the black. DBS added 0.2 per cent to $25.24; UOB advanced 0.7 per cent to $23.55, and OCBC gained 0.5 per cent to $10.37.
Members of the Jardine Group of companies were among the biggest decliners. Jardine Strategic Holdings fell 2.7 per cent to US$25.30, while Jardine Matheson Holdings lost 0.4 per cent to finish at US$57.60. Jardine Cycle and Carriage lost 1.2 per cent to $21.30.
CapitaLand, too, was among the biggest losers. The counter fell 2.5 per cent to $3.13 on Monday.
Oceanus was the most heavily traded counter for the day, with some 374 million shares changing hands. The stock closed at 6.2 Singapore cents, up 12.7 per cent.
Other counters that saw heavy trading were Jiutian Chemical, Sembcorp Marine and Singtel.
Across the region, markets generally had a positive start to the week. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.6 per cent, the Hang Seng Index added 2.2 per cent and the Jakarta Composite Index advanced 3.5 per cent.