China equity rout casts shadow over most Asian bourses, STI ends 32 points lower

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped 1.68 per cent, extending losses on its biggest rout in eight years.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped 1.68 per cent, extending losses on its biggest rout in eight years.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS

SINGAPORE - Asian bourses turned in a mixed bag of fortunes on Tuesday, as investors all round continued to keep an eye on the beleaguered China market.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped 1.68 per cent, extending losses on its biggest rout in eight years.

It had plummeted 8 per cent the day before, in a move that shook up markets globally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Index slid 0.73 per cent overnight on the back of downbeat sentiment at Wall Street.

"The situation in China is causing concern, particularly for international companies that get a good portion of their sales from overseas," Mr Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co, told Bloomberg. "We're already starting to see cracks in the earnings picture, so if global growth is going to slow, that will make the cracks bigger."

The fallout in mainland shares on Tuesday continued to rattle markets in the region.

The Nikkei 225 Index in Japan dipped 0.1 per cent, while Singapore's Straits Times Index slid 32.33 points, or 0.98 per cent, to 3,281.09.

"Monday's plunge showed the Chinese authorities that even governmental measures have their limits," said IG market strategist Bernard Aw, pointing to recent state efforts to shore up market sentiment.

"The Shanghai and Shenzhen markets ended in red today, although it is interesting to note that China A50, which comprises the biggest blue chips in the country, closed up mildly. "This is scant comfort, and serves as a testament that the support measures are losing their effect."

Defying the downtrend, however, was Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, which climbed 0.62 per cent on hopes for a stabilising China market, after Beijing hinted at renewing support. At home, the losses were led by the three local banks, unable to dodge the volatility in China.

DBS Group fell nine cents to S$20.99, while OCBC Bank lost five cents to S$10.27. UOB sank 22 cents to S$22.97.

Also among the day's worst performers were telco heavyweight Singtel, which dropped three cents to S$4.27, and bourse operator Singapore Exchange, which fell 14 cents to S$8.07.

Palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources sank two cents to 34 cents - its lowest in about six years - as the global commodity rout continues to bite.

An OCBC report in June said that the near-term outlook for Golden Agri remains "somewhat muted", as drier conditions are expected in Indonesia in the coming months due to El Nino.

The only bright spot among blue-chip counters yesterday was agribusiness group Wilmar International, which rose one cent to S$3.20.

Catalist-listed waterproofing firm Chinese Global was again the most heavily traded stock of the day, with 267.9 million shares changing hands. The counter plunged 0.6 cents to 5.7 Singapore cents.

A total of 2.14 billion stocks worth S$2.25 billion were traded.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg