Thu, Dec 31, 2020 – 9:53 AM

SINGAPORE shares opened lower on Thursday, the final trading day of the year, before the stock market closes at 12pm for the half-day holiday. It will remain closed on Friday in observance of New Year’s Day, with trading to resume on Jan 4, 2021.

The Straits Times Index (STI) slipped 0.4 per cent or 10.84 points to 2,858.38 as at 9.05am. Gainers matched losers at 67 apiece after 88.1 million securities worth S$107.8 million changed hands.

Singtel was among the most actively traded index counters, with some 3.3 million shares worth S$7.6 million changing hands. Shares of the telco declined 0.4 per cent or S$0.01 to S$2.31 as at 9.05am. Ahead of Thursday’s open, Singtel announced a reorganisation of its structure to capture new digital growth, with the changes set to take effect from Jan 1, 2021.

The trio of local banks were down in early trade. DBS fell 0.2 per cent or S$0.05 to S$25.18, OCBC shed 0.7 per cent or S$0.07 to S$10.14, while UOB dipped 0.1 per cent or S$0.03 to S$22.72.

Wall Street stocks resumed their holiday season rally on Wednesday, shrugging off the dimming chances of more US stimulus being enacted, while another coronavirus vaccine advanced. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a fresh record, finishing 0.2 per cent higher at 30,409.56 to narrowly overtake an all-time high on Monday. The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to 3,732.04, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 per cent to 12,870.00.

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In Europe, stocks ended a five-day winning streak on Wednesday as investors locked in recent gains, although positive vaccine and Brexit trends pointed to a stronger 2021 for regional markets. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.3 per cent lower, but still staying close to a 10-month high. This comes after the UK became the first country in the world to approve AstraZeneca-Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine, another option to curb the spread of the disease. The United States has already cleared vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday, the last trading day of 2020. The Nikkei 225 index closed 0.5 per cent or 123.98 points lower at 27,444.17, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.8 per cent or 14.50 points to 1,804.68. The Tokyo stock market is closed on Thursday and Friday.





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