Markets across Asia were infected to various degrees with the panic that flooded Chinese markets again yesterday. Mainland investors kept stampeding for the exit, as the massive sell-off of the past three weeks appeared to reach a head, despite government efforts to calm the market. At home, the Straits Times Index sank deep below the 3,300-point mark, shedding 55.94 points, or 1.67 per cent, to close at 3,284.99.
Asian shares tumbled on Wednesday and the safe-haven yen rallied as Chinese stocks remained in a tailspin, shaking investors already rattled by Greece's debt crisis. The drop in China extended a savage correction that has clipped 30 per cent off Chinese shares since mid-June, threatening a new blow to the country's already slowing economy despite a slew of market support steps from Beijing.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is investing about S$279 million to expand its holdings in Singapore Post Ltd (SingPost) and take a share of its subsidiary, aimed at boosting growth in their e-commerce logistics platform across the Asia Pacific, the two companies announced on Wednesday. Mainboard-listed SingPost is growing its e-commerce business and last year an Alibaba unit bought an over 10 per cent stake in SingPost for S$249 million.
The Australian dollar is heading to be on a par with the Singapore dollar, as weak commodity prices and the rising greenback take their toll on the currency. One Australian dollar was worth about S$1.0019 at 4.30 pm on Wednesday - the weakest it has been since the global financial crisis in 2009. It has fallen about 8 per cent since the start of the year and 17 per cent since last July.
Thailand's baht plunged to its weakest level since September 2009 amid sustained outflows from local assets and a selloff in Chinese equities. Global funds have withdrawn a net US$199 million (S$270 million) from Thailand's stocks and bonds this month, taking total outflows for 2015 to US$1.2 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Troubled British bank Barclays, mired in the forex and Libor rigging scandals, announced Wednesday that it has fired chief executive Antony Jenkins. Barclays said chairman John McFarlane would take over executive duties until a permanent successor to Jenkins was appointed.