Singapore shares upbeat on easing of Covid-19 restrictions; STI up 0.3%, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) gained ground over the course of the trading day on Thursday (June 10), particularly after the news about the easing of Covid-19 restrictions broke.

It then dipped slightly thereafter to end at 3,162.50, up 9.03 points, or 0.29 per cent.

On Thursday afternoon, the authorities announced that groups of up to five people will be allowed to gather from June 14, as the country moves into what has been labelled phase three (heightened alert).

Dining in at food and beverage establishments for groups of up to five people will also be allowed from June 21, if the local Covid-19 situation remains under control in the coming weeks.

Among the STI constituents, aviation counters were the day’s top gainers. Singapore Airlines emerged at the top of the index, advancing 1.99 per cent, or 10 cents, to end at $5.12. Sats, the ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider at Changi Airport, closed up 1.96 per cent, or eight cents, at $4.16.

On Wednesday night, The Straits Times reported that South Korea is hoping to expedite travel bubble talks with the likes of Singapore and Taiwan to allow quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated people from as early as July.

CapitaLand was also among the top performers for the day, with the counter gaining 1.08 per cent, or four cents, to end at $3.74.

In a note on Thursday, RHB analyst Vijay Natarajan said that the brokerage maintains its “overweight” call on the real estate sector, with CapitaLand as its top pick, “as we remain positive on (CapitaLand’s) latest value unlocking move”.

The residential market is expected to maintain its upward momentum in the forecast for the second half of 2021, “after a slight near-term slowdown”, with key drivers remaining falling inventory levels, low interest rates and the uptick in the economy and employment numbers, he added.

Meanwhile, Sembcorp Industries slumped to the bottom of the index, falling 1.38 per cent, or three cents, to end at $2.15.

On the broader market, decliners outnumbered advancers 250 to 232 for the day, with 1.95 billion securities worth $1.06 billion changing hands.

Across the region, most Asian markets ended the day in positive territory.

The Nikkei 225 Index rose 97.76 points, or 0.34 per cent, to end at 28,958.56, while the benchmark Kospi advanced 8.46 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 3,224.64. The Shanghai Composite Index similarly closed up 19.46 points, or 0.54 per cent, at 3,610.86.

On the other hand, the Hang Seng Index ended marginally lower at 28,738.88, down 3.75 points, or 0.013 per cent.

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