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Singapore shares fall at Wednesday's open as trade deal hopes dim; STI down 0.7%

SINGAPORE stocks fell on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump signalled delays in signing a trade deal with China, dimming hopes of a quick resolution. 

Mr Trump's comments triggered falls in markets worldwide; similarly, Singapore’s Straits Times Index dropped 0.7 per cent or 22.24 points to 3,150.84 as at 9.02am.

Losers outnumbered gainers 95 to 30, after 72.2 million securities worth S$239.4 million changed hands.

The most active counter was Dairy Farm, which fell 0.7 per cent, or four US cents to US$5.73 with 22.3 million shares changing hands. Other heavily traded securities included ESR-Reit which rose 0.9 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to S$0.545 with 11.3 million shares traded, as well as Golden Agri-Resources which dropped 4.4 per cent or one Singapore cent to S$0.215 with 5.7 million shares traded.

Banking stocks were in the red during early morning trade. DBS fell 0.6 per cent or 16 Singapore cents to S$24.82; UOB was down 1.1 per cent or 28 Singapore cents to S$25.26, while OCBC dropped 0.5 per cent, or five Singapore cents to S$10.64.

Other active index counters included Singtel which lost 0.3 per cent or one Singapore cent to S$3.41, and Keppel Corp which lost 0.5 per cent or three Singapore cents to S$6.70.

In the US, Wall Street stocks fell following Mr Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's comments which saw hopes over a US-China trade war resolution dwindle. 

Mr Trump had suggested a deal might have to wait until after the 2020 US presidential election. Separately, Mr Ross confirmed that new tariffs on Chinese imports would take effect on Dec 15 as scheduled, unless substantial progress was made.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.01 per cent to 27,502.81, the S&P 500 lost 0.66 per cent to 3,093.2 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.55 per cent, to 8,520.64.

In Europe, London's FTSE, which is filled with trade-sensitive mining and energy stocks, lost 1.8 per cent, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.6 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks also opened lower on Wednesday on falling hopes over a US-China trade deal and stronger yen. The Nikkei 225 index fell 0.75 per cent to 23,203.77 in early trade while the Topix index dropped 0.59 per cent to 1,696.67.

Australia shares continued losses on Wednesday amid global trade tensions. The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped about 1.4 per cent to 6,620.20 by 2349 GMT. New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index lost as much as 0.5 per cent to 11,174.50.