Thu, Sep 03, 2020 – 9:55 AM
SINGAPORE shares opened lower on Thursday, dragged by weaker openings from banks amid more conversations on the Republic’s foreign worker policy.
The issue continues to be a hot topic both in public discourse and the debate – which began on Monday – on the President’s address. Foreign media have also started to take notice and imply that Singapore might be turning inwards.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday in Parliament that Singapore must continue to welcome talent and investments that create opportunities for its people and maintain its reputation for such openness.
On the Singapore bourse, the Straits Times Index (STI) was down 0.3 per cent or 8.42 points to 2,531.52 as at 9.05am.
Gainers outnumbered losers 75 to 56, after 137.9 million securities worth S$134.7 million changed hands.
The most active counter by volume was QT Vascular, which fell 16.7 per cent or 0.2 Singapore cent to one cent, with 33.6 million shares changing hands. The medtech firm’s chief executive has been offloading his shares over the last two days.
Other heavily traded securities include Riverstone, which fell 2.7 per cent or S$0.11 to S$4.03 with 15.7 million shares traded, and Singtel, which held steady at S$2.30 with 3.2 million shares changing hands.
Banking stocks declined in early trade. DBS was down 0.9 per cent or S$0.19 to S$20.68, UOB fell 0.5 per cent or S$0.09 to S$19.48, while OCBC lost 0.6 per cent or S$0.05 to S$8.63.
Other active index counters include ComfortDelGro which rose 1.3 per cent or S$0.02 to S$1.51, and Genting Singapore, which slipped 0.7 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to 69.5 cents.
In the US, Wall Street stocks jumped again on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq ending above 12,000 for the first time as investors shrugged off disappointing employment data and a cautious Federal Reserve report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1.6 per cent at 29,100.50, the S&P 500 put on 1.5 per cent to close at 3,580.84, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1 per cent to 12,056.44, its fourth straight record.
Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 index was up 1.2 per cent to 23,521.14 in early trade, while the Topix index gained 0.9 per cent to 1,637.54.