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Singapore shares end sharply lower on rising bond yields

SINGAPORE shares ended sharply lower on Monday, in a knee-jerk reaction to Wall Street's worst slump in two years on Friday.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) opened at 3,483.07, before it ended at 3,482.93, down 46.89 points, or 1.33 per cent, from Friday's close. About 2.8 billion shares, worth S$1.8 billion, were traded, with 101 gainers to 445 losers.

Local banks - DBS, UOB and OCBC - were among the blue-chip stocks sold off. But SingPost bucked the trend and closed at S$1.43, up five Singapore cents, or 3.6 per cent in heavy trading which saw more than 48 million shares changing hands. The postal group's third-quarter net profit rose 37.2 per cent to S$43 million on better performance in its postal, e-commerce and property segments, and from a one-off S$6.9 million adjustment from changes in the US corporate tax rate.

Elsewhere, Asian shares fell the most in over a year as fears of resurgent inflation battered bonds, toppled Wall Street from record highs and sparked speculation that central banks globally might be forced to tighten policy more aggressively.

Mid-afternoon, the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index dropped 1.5 per cent, heading for its steepest two-day decline since November 2016, as shares in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan sank. Japan bore the brunt of the declines, with the Nikkei 225 erasing this year's gain.

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