SINGAPORE share prices opened lower on Thursday with the Straits Times Index down 29.49 points or 0.97 per cent to 3,011.76 as at 9.12am, following selloffs in the United States and Japan.
Tokyo stocks opened 0.14 per cent down as speculation by investors that the US Federal Reserve would hike rates receded. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 28.37 points to 20,194.26 at the start.
US policymakers had said at their meeting in July that they need to see further improvement in the labour market and inflation rate before raising interest rates for the first time in nearly nine years, the Fed minutes showed on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 162.61 points (0.93 per cent) to 17,348.73, the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 17.31 (0.83 per cent) to 2,079.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 40.30 (0.80 per cent) to 5,019.05.
Oil-linked equities suffered deep declines after US oil prices tumbled to a fresh six-year low on the latest signs of a glut in crude supplies.
In Singapore, losses were led by the Jardine stocks (Jardine Cycle & Carriage, Jardine Strategic and Jardine Matheson) and all three local banks.
At 9.07am, UOB was down one per cent to S$19.63, DBS was down 0.8 per cent to S$18.56 and OCBC was down 1.1 per cent to S$9.35.
Some 142.3 million shares worth S$126 million changed hands in early trading on Thursday, with losers outnumbering gainers 143 to 44.