Singapore shares sink on trade, recession fears; STI down 0.9% after midday break

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

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares continued to take a beating as trading resumed on Thursday afternoon (Oct 3), after the United States opened a new trade war front with Europe and lacklustre US jobs data exacerbated recession fears.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.92 per cent or 28.48 points on the day to 3,074.97 as at 1.03pm. Losers outnumbered gainers 198 to 95, after 472.1 million securities worth $354.3 million changed hands.

Golden-Agri Resources remained the most traded security on Thursday, flat at 22 cents after 21.5 million shares changed hands.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding slipped 1.5 cents or 1.6 per cent to $0.925 after 18.1 million shares were traded.

Rex International and Tee International also saw heavy trading.

The three local banks were all in the red, with DBS down 26 cents or 1.1 per cent to $24.51, UOB declining 27 cents or 1.1 per cent to $25.21, and OCBC losing 11 cents or 1 per cent to $10.66.

Other Asian markets were all deep in the red. Tokyo went into the break 2 per cent lower, while Sydney shed more than 2 per cent, Wellington lost 1.3 per cent and Hong Kong lost 0.7 per cent.

Taipei shed 0.8 per cent, while Manila and Jakarta were both off 0.9 per cent.


Wall Street plunged on Wednesday after payrolls firm ADP estimated the US added 135,000 private-sector jobs in September. The figures were below expectations and came after data on Tuesday showed the weakest manufacturing conditions since the Great Recession.

Also on Wednesday, the US said it would enact 10 per cent tariffs on European-made Airbus planes and 25 per cent duties on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies and cheese from across the continent as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies. The tariffs announced on Wednesday were approved by the World Trade Organisation but could still cause friction across the Atlantic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 26,078.62, down 1.9 per cent or nearly 500 points, the second day in a row with a loss of more than 1 per cent. The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.8 per cent to close at 2,887.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.6 per cent to 7,785.25.

European stock markets dived almost 3 per cent to log their worst day since last December as the threat of a transatlantic trade war and dismal economic data added to fears about a faltering global economy.