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Asian markets down on Wall Street sell-off

This article is more than 12 months old

STI closes 11.87 points down at 3,155.92; turnover on the bourse stands at roughly 1.26 billion shares worth $873 million

His tweets may have bearing on market sentiment and shake indices but US President Donald Trump's comments on the US-China trade truce is not the only factor to have played into Wall Street's sell-off on Tuesday.

It also played into a lacklustre session for Asian markets.

Concerns over the outlook of the US economy grew on an inversion of a segment of the US treasury yield curve, a measure viewed as an early indicator of a potential economic recession.

CMC Markets' Margaret Yang said: "Revamped trade uncertainties and a surprising inversion of part of the US treasury yield curve catalysed panic selling in US equities."

However, she added: "It is probably too early to price in that scenario (US economic recession) as US fundamental metrics are still strong and the jobs market is tight."

That said, investors' worries appear somewhat quelled as news broke yesterday that Beijing aims to address issues where it has a consensus with Washington promptly and will press on with trade negotiations within the 90-day truce period. This sent US equity futures higher at press time.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) closed 11.87 points or 0.4 per cent lower at 3,155.92. Of the 30 STI constituents, 16 counters ended the day in the red.

Turnover on the bourse stood at roughly 1.26 billion shares worth $873 million, which worked out to an average unit price of $0.69 per share. Decliners greatly outnumbered advancers 248 to 130.

Shares in the usually thinly traded catalist-listed DISA Limited was the bourse's most actively traded stock on a turnover of 78.1 million shares. It traded flat on the day at $0.004.

ThaiBev was the most active index-listed stock on the day and its biggest loser in percentage terms. It closed $0.015 or 2.4 per cent lower at $0.61 with a turnover of 34.1 million shares.

Meanwhile, the STI's biggest loser in dollar terms - Jardine Cycle & Carriage - slipped $0.39 or 1.1 per cent to $35.61.

Jardine Matheson Holdings was the STI's biggest gainer on the day in dollar terms, closing US$0.07 (S$0.09) or 0.1 per cent higher at US$66.90.

In percentage terms, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the index's biggest gainer and it closed $0.03 or 2.4 per cent higher at $1.27.

Among financials, DBS Bank closed $0.31 or 1.2 per cent lower at $24.65, OCBC Bank dropped $0.06 or 0.5 per cent to $11.49, and United Overseas Bank lost $0.04 or 0.2 per cent to close at $25.74.

Among property players, City Developments shares finished $0.02 or 0.2 per cent up at $8.74.

Telco Singtel's shares closed $0.01 or 0.3 per cent higher at $3.08.

Key Asian indices were a sea of red with the Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai Composite Index, ASX 200, Kospi and Kuala Lumpur Composite all ending lower on the day.

Of the lot, the Hong Kong stocks bore the brunt of the dipping sentiment, with the benchmark index losing 440.76 points or 1.6 per cent to close at 26,819.68. This is the Hang Seng's sharpest single-day drop in over two weeks.

Despite Australian domestic growth data showing that the economy decelerated by more than expected in the last quarter, Australian equities were barely affected. Instead, financials dragged the benchmark index lower.

Despite ending the day lower, Ms Yang maintained that Asian markets exhibited resilience against the US turmoil.

"They are cushioned by relatively cheap valuation and updates on China's response on trade commitments helped to lift sentiment."

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