Singapore shares suffered their worst one-day plunge in seven years as a sharp sell-off on Wall Street and rout on stock markets across Asia. The benchmark Straits Times Index closed at 2,843.39, down 4.3 per cent or 127.62 points on Monday, weighed down by a sell-off on bluechip constituents DBS, OCBC, Singtel, Jardine Matheson, Hongkong Land.
Inflation stayed in negative territory last month (July), the ninth straight month of declining prices, due mainly to a softer housing rental market. The last time Singapore experienced such a prolonged drop in consumer prices was amid the global financial crisis in 2009, when prices fell for six straight months.
Local stocks opened on Monday (Aug 24) to another bout of selling as as nervous investors rushed for the exit after the free fall in the Chinese markets again spooked sentiments in the region. The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) was trading down 3.26 per cent at 2,874.23 as at 12.15pm, a low not seen since June 2012.
The three-month Singapore interbank offered rate (Sibor), which is used to set interest rates on mortgages, spiked up to a five-month high of 0.9960 per cent after the Singapore dollar slumped to a fresh five-year low against the US dollar. The rate closed at 0.93825 on Friday.
China's stocks plunged the most since 2007 as government support measures failed to allay investor concerns that a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy is deepening. The Shanghai Composite Index nosedived 8.49 per cent, closing down 297.83 points at 3,209.91, after falling as much as 9.00 per cent during trading.
European stocks fell sharply at the open on Monday (Aug 24), with Germany's benchmark gauge headed for a bear market as a slide in Chinese markets continued to roil equities globally. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 3.5 per cent at 8:13 am in London, deepening its plunge after its worst week in four years.
Thailand's military-government plans to introduce economic measures in a month to help boost the economy in the short term, the country's new finance minister said on Monday (Aug 24), as the junta is struggling to spur economic growth. The measures will include additional funds for the grassroots, Apisak Tantivorawong, appointed last week in a reshuffled cabinet, told reporters.