• Rising cases of Covid-19 also offset vaccine cheer
  • Picture same across regional bourses except China, Malaysia
  • DBS Bank, Singtel, OCBC Bank lead losses in local bourse

Singapore shares sank back into the red on a listless trading day, with the key Straits Times Index (STI) retreating 18.11 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 2,824.96.

The impasse over the US stimulus package, rising cases of Covid-19 and Brexit overhang were chief culprits, offsetting the vaccine cheer amid expectations that the roll-out in Asia could be relatively slower.

The gloomy mood came ahead of the European Central Bank monetary policy meeting, at which it is expected to extend support measures.

The losses also follow an overnight sell-off in US tech stocks after Facebook was accused of breaking the United States’ antitrust law.

The picture was more or less the same across regional bourses except for China, which posted marginal gains, and Malaysia.

“Stocks look set to stumble and bumble along until Santa delivers a stimulus deal,” said Axi chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes.

In Singapore, some 1.94 billion shares worth $1.21 billion changed hands. DBS Bank, Singtel and OCBC Bank led the losses in the local bourse.

MM2 Asia inched up 0.1 Singapore cent, or 0.63 per cent, to 16.1 Singapore cents.

The local media entertainment and content firm, hit hard by the pandemic, has proposed a merger of its cinema business with Golden Village cinemas, which is owned by a Hong Kong-listed company.

Nanofilm Technologies International was one of the day’s stand-out performers, jumping 35 Singapore cents – nearly 10 per cent – to $3.88.

The mainboard-listed company, which made its trading debut on the Singapore bourse two months ago, said it will be in the FTSE ST Small-Cap Index, FTSE ST China Index and FTSE ST Singapore Shariah Index after market close on Dec 21.