Singapore stocks took a beating this week amid the twin uncertainties of the US election and the worsening pandemic in the West, overtaking Thailand to become Asia’s worst equity market this year.
The Straits Times Index (STI) fell about 1% on Friday, taking the 2020 decline so far to 25%, compared with a fractionally smaller loss for Thailand’s SET index. The city-state’s gauge, which relies heavily on exports, is down about 4.3% this week, among the region’s worst performances.
A recovery in the Southeast Asian nation’s stocks from the market plunge triggered by the pandemic has been hampered by the economy’s integration with global trade and supply chains, and a lack of technology shares in the index. More than 80% of Singapore’s benchmark is made up of cyclical equities -- the most among regional peers. A resurgence in coronavirus cases in America and Europe and uncertainty surrounding stimulus in the US are expected to limit gains in the near term.