Markets slump as Singapore brings in strictest Covid-19 curbs since lockdown


Singapore Airlines' stock price dived to the lowest in more than two months. - Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters): Singapore announced on Friday (May 14) the strictest curbs on social gatherings and public activities since easing a Covid-19 lockdown last year, amid a rise in locally acquired infections and with new coronavirus clusters forming in recent weeks.

The new measures announced by the health ministry, which will be force from Sunday to mid June, include limiting social gatherings to two people and ceasing dining in at restaurants.

"This is clearly a setback in our fight against Covid-19," said Lawrence Wong, the minister for education who co-chairs Singapore's coronavirus taskforce.

The new moves, which dashed hopes Singapore was heading towards a re-opening, sent the Straits Times Index and Singapore Airlines' stock price to the lowest in more than two months.

"Quick reopening hopes have been dashed, especially for the travel and leisure sectors," said Bank of Singapore analyst Moh Siong Sim.

"Manufacturing should hold up as has been the case over the past year."

Working from home will also be made the default arrangement under the new measures.

Albeit with a reduced capacity, shopping malls and cinemas will be allowed to keep operating, and events and weddings to take place under the new arrangements.

The authorities said they will review the measures after two weeks to assess if adjustments are needed.

The Asian trade and financial hub had been reporting almost zero or single-digit daily local infections for months, before a recent rise in cases.

On Thursday, it confirmed 24 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, the highest daily number since mid-September driven partly by a cluster at Changi airport.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said given the rising infections it is "very likely" that Singapore would not meet the threshold for a long-delayed Hong Kong travel bubble, which was recently rescheduled to start in late May.

The Singapore stock market dropped about 3%, led by falls in retail-exposed shares and companies exposed to travel. Singapore Airlines shares fell more than 6%.

The Singapore dollar also slipped a fraction after the announcement.

Singapore is due to hold the annual Shangri-La Dialogue from June 4-5, which typically attracts top level military officials, diplomats and weapons makers from around the globe.

The city-state is also planning to host the World Economic Forum's annual summit in August.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Singapore , covid-19 , restrictions , market , slump

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines as at 8pm on Wednesday (June 16)
Vietnam's pangolin defender wins top environmental prize
DIY Covid-19 test kits go on sale in Singapore, prices range from S$10 to $13
Thailand to fully reopen in 120 days to revive sagging economy
VietQR launched to promote digital transformation in banking sector
Seven more Covid deaths, 693 infections in Cambodia
Misadventure verdict overturned in Nora Anne's death inquest
McDonald's BTS meal in Singapore available via delivery only amid Covid-19
Vietnam sees 176 Covid-19 cases, one with unknown infection source
Singapore reviews timing of next stage of reopening amid latest outbreak of Covid-19 cases

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers