Singapore shares slide further on weak cues from US, hawkish central bank signals

The SGX Centre 1.

SINGAPORE - The Singapore market sank deeper into the red on Friday morning (July 7), dragged down by the overnight sell-off on Wall Street.

By 12.30pm, the benchmark Straits Times Index was down 8.84 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 3,217.5.

Other markets in Asia also took a hit. Tokyo dropped 0.51 per cent and Hong Kong fell 0.36 per cent.

"Cautious sentiment prevails as geopolitical jitters and uncertainties in (the US) central bank's policy outlook weighs on investors' confidence," said IG market analyst Margaret Yang in a note.

The pullback in Asia on Friday and the US overnight comes after payrolls firm ADP said US private-sector employers added far fewer jobs last month than forecast, making traders nervous about the US government's official jobs figures due later Friday. The US Federal Reserve is expected to announce at least one more rate hike this year, which will be heavily contingent on its assessment of the jobs market.

Rising sentiment that major central banks are signalling they may soon call an end to policies that have kept interest rates exceptionally low for nearly a decade since the global financial crisis also hit stocks and bonds.

Noble Group was among the morning's movers here, sliding 3.1 per cent or two cents to 62 cents as at 12.40pm.

The stock surged nearly 40 per cent on Thursday, but the commodity trader said it was not aware of any reason that might explain the move. A Bloomberg report said it may have been due to speculation that an investor is building a stake.