STI inches up for week as traders shrug off extended Covid-19 curbs

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – The prospect of more weeks of restrictions to counter Singapore’s Covid-19 outbreak does not seem to have fazed investors going by Friday’s market performance.

The Straits Times Index (STI) showed some staying power by rising 16.64 points or 0.52 per cent to 3,205.14 points to end 0.98 per cent higher for the week.

Losers trailed gainers 202 to 262 on the broader market with a turnover of 1.44 billion shares worth $826.77 million.

IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong said the STI has been relatively resilient since the announcement that pandemic curbs would be extended, suggesting that investors are buying into the endemic stance of the economy.

Raffles Education Raffles experienced a roller-coaster week, with the shares of the private education service provider ending 16.39 per cent higher at 7.1 cents.

Its trading halt was lifted on Friday, following Thursday’s announcement that its directors had assisted the authorities in an investigation into a suspected breach of disclosure requirements under the Securities and Futures Act.

Its shares had fallen 25.6 per cent to a low of 6.1 cents on Monday.

Substantial shareholder Oei Hong Leong disclosed the following day that he had sold down his stake in the company from 10.16 per cent to 7.34 per cent.

Investors regard Singapore Airlines as one of the winners from Australia’s reopening of its borders to returning citizens and eventually tourists.

The stock rose 1.15 per cent to $5.30 yesterday.

Australia announced on Thursday that a quarantine-free travel plan with Singapore is close to taking off, although the Singapore government has not provided any details of the arrangement.

There has been no noticeable boost to shares in Australia with the ASX 200 up less than one point for a second day running but ahead 0.8 per cent for the week – its third consecutive weekly gain.

Markets elsewhere in Asia were mixed, reflecting a similar outcome overnight on Wall Street.