Singapore shares fall as Trump says China 'broke the deal' in trade talks; STI down 0.6% to 3,264.52

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore stocks opened weaker on Thursday (May 9), with the Straits Times Index slipping 0.59 per cent or 19.32 points to 3,264.52 as at 9.02am.

This comes after Wall Street stocks fizzled into the close overnight as investors tried to suss out the latest back-and-forth in the US-China trade saga.

On Thursday morning, US stock-index futures tumbled and Asian shares shares hit six-week lows after US President Donald Trump said China "broke the deal" that he was negotiating on trade, days after he threatened to raise tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports.

S&P 500 Index futures contracts expiring in June fell 0.3 per cent as of 10:21am in Tokyo after Trump made comments on trade talks at a campaign rally Wednesday in Panama City Beach, Florid, Bloomberg reported. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts were down 0.3 per cent while those on the Nasdaq 100 were down 0.4 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei average shed 0.9 per cent to its five-week low, and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.8 per cent, whereas the Australian benchmark added 0.3 per cent.

Trump's comments come as top Chinese trade negotiator Liu He travels to Washington on Thursday for crucial talks. The US president added that, "whatever happens, don't worry about it. It will work out. It always does."

On the Singapore bourse, losers outnumbered gainers 71 to 33, or about two securities down for every one up, after 40.7 million securities worth $103 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Singtel fell 0.3 per cent or one Singapore cent to $3.10, with 4.2 million shares traded. Miyoshi rose 8.2 per cent or 0.4 cent to 5.3 cents, with 2.8 million shares traded, while Mapletree Commercial Trust slipped 1 per cent or two cents to $1.94, with 2.6 million shares traded.

Banking stocks also fell across the board - OCBC was down 0.9 per cent or $0.10 to $11.34, UOB fell 0.9 per cent or $0.24 to $25.49, and DBS dropped 0.5 per cent or $0.14 to $26.44.

Meanwhile, Best World International gained 4.3 per cent or $0.07 to $1.69. This comes after the company on Wednesday night posted a 79 per cent jump in first quarter net profit to $10.3 million a year ago on the back of strong sales growth.

Separately, Best World begun defamation proceedings against Bonitas Research and its founder in the Singapore High Court, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday morning before the market opened.