SINGAPORE - The Singapore market and its regional peers fell after after Wall Street tanked as the US-China tariff war escalated though losses were contained after conciliatory comments from President Donald Trump.
Two hours before Wall Street opened for trading on Monday, Beijing announced an increase in the tariff rate to 25 per cent for U$60 billion of US goods. The move by Beijing was followed by US president Donald Trump saying that he was looking at applying tariffs on a further U$300 billion of Chinese exports to the US.
That said, markets in Asia retracked some of their early session losses when Mr Trump said he was optimistic about resolving the US trade dispute with China. "We'll let you know in about three or four weeks whether or not it was successful. But I have a feeling it's going to be very successful," Mr Trump said.
With tensions easing across the day, the Straits Times Index (STI) traded at 3,207.84, down 26.44 points or 0.8 per cent, as at 1.03pm on Tuesday. The STI opened one per cent lower.
Shortly after the afternoon session commenced, volume clocked in at 863.84 million securities traded and total turnover came in at $579.80 million.
Across the market, decliners outpaced advancers 226 to 113. Compared to the broader market, broad-based losses were recorded on the benchmark index with 24 of the STI's 30 components trading in the red.
Among them were the local banks. DBS Group Holdings was trading $0.30 or 1.2 per cent lower at $25.70; OCBC Bank was $0.06 or 0.5 per cent lower at $11.14 while United Overseas Bank dipped $0.27 or 1.1 per cent to trade at $24.91.
Bucking the trend were defensive counters like telco Singtel (up two cents or 0.6 per cent to $3.16) and transport operator ComfortDelGro (up two cents or 0.8 per cent to $2.54).
Across Asia, most markets were down. Australia retreated 0.9 per cent, China fell 0.4 per cent, Japan fell by 0.8 per cent, and Malaysia was down 0.4 per cent. Hong Kong, which returned to trading following Monday's holiday, was down 1.6 per cent. On the other hand, South Korea added 0.2 per cent.