Bulls And Bears

Asian markets tumble as trade-deal hopes dashed

Nearly all STI stocks end in the red; banks and Venture Corp among biggest losers

Asian markets tumbled yesterday, tracking late falls in US markets last Friday after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow dashed hopes of a breakthrough in US-China trade relations.

United States President Donald Trump's comments last Friday that he was likely to make a trade deal with China had markets perking up to end mostly higher for the week. However, optimism faded when Mr Kudlow said before US markets closed that there was "no mass movement to deal with trade... We're not on the cusp of a deal."

Yesterday's trading saw Hong Kong's Hang Seng fall 551.96 points, or 2.08 per cent, to 25,934.39; Japan's Nikkei gave up 344.67 points, or 1.55 per cent, to close at 21,898.99. Losses were smaller in Australia and Malaysia, and mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index closed down 11.05 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 2,665.43.

In Singapore, the key Straits Times Index (STI) erased all of last Friday's gains in yesterday's trading, falling back 55.77 points, or 1.79 per cent, to end at 3,060.62.

About 1.3 billion securities worth $939 million changed hands, compared with 2.7 billion for $1.5 billion last Friday. Losers outnumbered gainers 287 to 127.

Nearly all 30 STI constituents ended in the red, save for Singapore Press Holdings. They were led by financials, with DBS Group Holdings losing 66 cents, or 2.68 per cent, to $24. United Overseas Bank declined 57 cents, or 2.26 per cent, to $24.65, while OCBC Bank retreated 15 cents, or 1.31 per cent, to $11.32.

DBS reported that its third-quarter net profit rose 76 per cent to $1.41 billion, missing Bloomberg's average analyst estimate of $1.44 billion.

Shares of electronics manufacturing service provider Venture Corp fell sharply after it reported last Friday that its third-quarter net profit fell 27.5 per cent to $80.8 million from a year ago, missing street estimates. They ended $1.51, or 9.3 per cent, lower at $14.75.

The most actively traded stock by volume was integrated property developer Capital World. It gained 1.4 cents, or 32.6 per cent, to end at 5.7 cents after 32.83 million shares changed hands. It announced that it had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Bursa-listed investment holding company PRG Holdings for the latter to inject capital by subscribing for new Capital World shares.

The Singapore market is closed today for the Deepavali holiday, but investors will be watching the US midterm elections closely.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2018, with the headline 'Asian markets tumble as trade-deal hopes dashed'. Print Edition | Subscribe