Bulls And Bears

Tech tremors bleed into Asian equities

S'pore shares among worst hit in region, with financials being the main culprit

The tech stock tumble on Wall Street overnight sparked the expected tremors across the region yesterday with nearly all markets ending in the red.

Singapore shares were among the worst hit in Asia, with financials the main culprit as the Straits Times Index shed 38.08 points, or 1.24 per cent, to 3,026.99, to follow on from its decline on Monday.

Losers heavily outnumbered gainers 268 to 118 on overall trade of 1.44 billion shares worth $925.4 million.

Genting Singapore was the most actively traded with 39.96 million shares changing hands as it lost 2.13 per cent to 92 cents.

The three local banks ended in the red: OCBC Bank dived 2.53 per cent to $10.81; United Overseas Bank fell 1.65 per cent to $23.85; and DBS Group Holdings dropped 1.29 per cent to $22.90.

The tech sector, predictably, saw heavy losses.

Precision manufacturer UMS Holdings dropped 3.97 per cent to 60.5 cents; electronics manufacturing service provider Venture Corp eased 1.87 per cent to $14.67; and AEM Holdings shed 2.69 per cent to 90.5 cents.

In-flight caterer and ground handling outfit Sats ended 2.27 per cent down at $4.74 after announcing late on Monday that it is aiming to scale up its operations in China, targeting customers in fast-casual restaurants as well as the aviation sector.

In the United States, tech stocks had a torrid session on Monday after Apple dived on reports of production cuts while Facebook took a hit over controversy surrounding its handling of customer data. That sent other tech giants such as Amazon and Netflix tumbling as well.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was weighed down by its technology sector, falling 2.02 per cent yesterday, while South Korea's Kospi snapped three prior sessions of gains to end 0.86 per cent lower.

Weak iPhone sales continued to put pressure on the country's large tech sector.

Samsung and SK Hynix, which between them produce microprocessors, memory chips and displays for Apple's flagship product, both saw their shares decline.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 was hit by the double whammy of falling US tech shares and Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn's dismissal and subsequent arrest.

Mr Ghosn - a luminary in the car industry and lauded for saving Nissan from near death - had been arrested for allegedly under-reporting his earnings. He will be fired from Nissan's board this week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2018, with the headline 'Tech tremors bleed into Asian equities'. Print Edition | Subscribe