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Singapore stocks: STI resumes Monday afternoon trading, down 3.7% on day

SINGAPORE equities fell deeper into the red when trading resumed on Monday afternoon after the US Federal Reserve's second off-cycle emergency rate cut.

The Fed's biggest cut to the Fed Funds Rate since 2008's global financial crisis was not enough to calm markets, which have been spooked by the escalating economic fallout from the fast-spreading novel coronavirus. Moreover, the magnitude of the Fed's measures has also left market participants wondering if the central bank views Covid-19's impact on the global economy to be worse than expected.

More central banks are expected to lower borrowing rates in the coming days.

The Straits Times Index (STI), which fell 3 per cent at the morning open, was down 98.30 points or 3.7 per cent to 2,535.70 as at 1.06pm. The STI is now trading in bear territory, down 25.8 per cent from its 52-week high.

Shortly after the afternoon session began, volume traded on the Singapore bourse clocked in at 825.45 million securities with a total turnover of S$1.01 billion. Both volume and turnover are on track to beat their respective 2019 intraday averages.

Across the market, decliners trumped advancers 374 to 104. On the blue-chip index, all but two of the STI's 30 components are trading in the red.

Singtel was the STI's most active counter. Singapore's largest telco traded S$0.07 or 2.6 per cent lower at S$2.57 after 18.7 million shares changed hands.

The local banks resumed their decline after the Fed's 100 basis point rate cut overnight. DBS fell S$0.48 or 2.5 per cent to S$18.87, OCBC Bank lost S$0.24 or 2.7 per cent to S$8.83 while United Overseas Bank was trading at S$19.71, down S$0.43 or 2.1 per cent, as at 1.04pm on Monday. 

Real estate investment trusts (Reits) were among the biggest laggards on the STI.

Among them, Mapletree Commercial Trust dived S$0.21 or 10.2 per cent to S$1.86 and Mapletree Logistics Trust dropped S$0.16 or 9.3 per cent to S$1.57.

Ascendas Reit shed S$0.14 or 4.7 per cent to S$2.86, down 17.1 per cent from its all-time high recorded earlier in the month.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, equity benchmarks were similarly battered, with Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand markedly lower.