Singapore shares slide 0.76% on interest rate hike worries after Fed meeting

SINGAPORE shares slipped on Thursday due to rising worries of an earlier-than-expected interest rate hike following a United States central bank policy meeting.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) dropped 23.55 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 3,057.20 for its second straight session in negative territory. Some 1.6 billion worth $1.1 billion changed hands.

Losses were more pronounced in other major Asian markets, with Japan sliding 1.65 per cent, Hong Kong tanking 1.79 per cent and Shanghai slipping 1.40 per cent.

The sea of red was sparked by overnight comments by US Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen that the central bank might end its massive bond-buying programme this year, and could start to raise interest rates around six months later.

Here, the losers included Global Logistic Properties, which hit its lowest levels in more than nine months en route to falling six cents to $2.58.

CapitaMalls Asia also tumbled, falling 3.5 cents to $1.685 amid heavy trading as it headed for its worst finish since October 2012.

All three bank stocks lost ground, with DBS Group Holdings dropping nine cents to $15.66, United Overseas Bank shedding four cents to $20.15 and OCBC Bank slipping six cents to $9.24.

The day's most active counter was HanKore Environment Tech which closed 0.1 cent up at 14.4 cents with 201.85 million units done.