SINGAPORE - Singapore stocks were trading sharply lower on Friday afternoon, tracking plunges in Asian and US markets after US President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods.
The Straits Times Index was down 0.72 per cent or 23.82 points at 3,267.93 as of 1.03pm.
Japanese benchmarks fell about 2.5 per cent. Chinese shares plummeted with the Shanghai Composite Index down 1.7 per cent in the morning session, while the blue-chip CSI300 lost 1.8 per cent, Reuters reported. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index shed 2.4 per cent.
South Korean shares hit their lows of the day, with the Kospi index down 0.7 per cent, after Japan took its own trade-restriction move. Japan confirmed on Friday it will remove South Korea from a list of trusted export destinations, which would expand the number of restricted materials used by South Korean makers of Oled screens, televisions and semiconductors. The new list comes a month after Japan imposed export curbs on three key materials used in Korea's chip industry.
In Singapore, losers almost doubled gainers 240 to 124, after 539.9 million securities worth $606.6 million changed hands.
Among the most heavily traded by volume, mDR Limited lost $0.001 or 50 per cent to $0.001 with 48.2 million shares changing hands. Genting Singapore declined $0.02 or 2.2 per cent to $0.90 with 14.9 million shares traded.
Singtel remained one of the most active index stocks, trading down $0.02 or 0.6 per cent to $3.34.
CapitaLand Commercial Trust also saw heavy trading, up $0.03 or 1.5 per cent to $2.09 after 11.3 million units changed hands.
Among financials, UOB and OCBC were both down after the release of their quarterly results this morning. UOB posted an 8 per cent rise in net profit to $1.17 billion while OCBC's net profit inched up 1 per cent.
UOB declined $0.14 or 0.5 per cent to $26.14 while OCBC lost $0.17 or 1.5 per cent to $11.25. DBS was also down, losing $0.03 or 0.1 per cent to $26.48.
Asian losses follow the plunge in Wall Street stocks overnight.
US stocks finished decisively lower on Thursday, after Mr Trump made an early-afternoon tweet announcing new tariffs on another US$300 billion (S$413 billion) in Chinese goods, which sent investors to the exits and left the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.1 per cent lower at the closing bell.
Mr Trump's announcement of the 10 per cent tariff to take effect on Sept 1 jolted US stocks from a rally following the Federal Reserve's move on Wednesday to cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade.