Bulls And Bears

Global equities sell-off weakens Asian markets

Investors send China into 'bear' territory, but S'pore and Japan post modest gains

Bourses in Asia languished as trade angst continued to weigh on global markets.

Investors sent China into "bear" market territory: The yuan had slumped to a near six-month low against the dollar, while a 0.5 to 0.8 per cent fall on big share markets left them down 20 per cent from January peaks, according to Reuters.

"Trade tensions continue to snowball and the synchronised weakness in global equity markets set Asian markets for another weak start on Tuesday," said IG market strategist Pan Jingyi.

Following the US stock market tumble on Monday, US stock index futures, including Dow futures, S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures, were in red territory at 6.30pm Singapore time.

The latest sell-off in global equities followed reports that the US was drafting curbs to block firms with at least 25 per cent Chinese ownership from buying US tech companies. Conflicting signals came from the Trump administration, with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying the restrictions would not be confined to China.

Mr Stephen Innes, Oanda's head of trading, Asia-Pacific, warned that there was "a considerable degree of scepticism as investors are still no less confident if this is a case of diplomatic doublespeak or a meaningful denial".

Regionally, Australia, Hong Kong and Shanghai closed lower yesterday, while Singapore and Japan posted modest gains. After opening at 3,245.79, the Straits Times Index inched higher to close at 3,280.87, up 20.03 points or 0.61 per cent from Monday's close.

In its Asia strategy report, DBS Group Research warned of a volatile third quarter. Its regional equity strategist Joanne Goh said the recent correction presented bargain-hunting opportunities on a technical rebound, but upside might be limited and market indices were unlikely to return to the peak seen in January.

Compared to its history, the market is currently trading at below its 10-year average, which provides room for re-rating to take place, Ms Goh said.

UOB, UOL Group, Cityneon Holdings, Dairy Farm, Sheng Siong, Thai Beverage, Keppel Corp, Sembcorp Marine, CDL Hospitality and Genting are among DBS Group Research's top stock picks here.

After the market close, Singapore Exchange (SGX) said it had given the go-ahead for companies with dual-class share structures to list in Singapore. SGX closed three cents up at $7.13.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2018, with the headline 'Global equities sell-off weakens Asian markets'. Subscribe