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Singapore shares slump 2% on Italian election crisis, Sino-US trade tensions

SHARE prices in the Singapore bourse tumbled, with the key Straits Times Index losing 74.53 points or 2.12 per cent to finish at 3,443.95 on Wednesday.

Other key Asian markets were also awash in red and the euro sank to a 10-month low against the US dollar as the political turmoil in Italy sparked worries over deepening woes in Europe's third-largest economy and its implication on the overall direction of the eurozone.

Investors also took the cue from steep overnight losses on Wall Street and Europe following signs of the political upheaval in Italy. Signs of escalating trade tensions between the US and China further fanned the fear factor in financial markets.

Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 1½ per cent, South Korea's Kospi lost 2 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite tumbled 2½ per cent.

"The Italian turmoil is reminiscent of the Greek debt issue (in 2011/12) that remains fresh in investors' memory, though in its current form, the concern likely remains on the threat to the (European) single currency," said IG Market's Pan Jingyi.

Turnover in the Singapore market stood at 2.03 billion shares worth S$1.9 billion versus Monday's 1.29 billion shares worth S$885.4 million. Losers trounced gainers with 353 counters down and 126 counters up.

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