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Singapore stocks: STI sinks 2.7% on Friday afternoon

SINGAPORE equities resumed trading on Friday afternoon extending its slide after a fierce sell-off on Wall Street amid growing worries over the virus outbreak's economic fallout.

The Straits Times Index (STI) was down 83.69 points or 2.7 per cent to 3,028.01 as at 1.03pm. The STI's 2 per cent fall in the morning had been its steepest decline since February 2016.

Shortly after the afternoon session began, volume traded on the Singapore bourse clocked in at 2.1 billion securities with a total turnover of S$1.24 billion. Both volume and turnover have already exceeded their respective 2019 intraday averages.

Across the market, decliners trumped advancers 407 to 78. On the bluechip index, all but one - Venture Corp - of its 30 counters were trading in the red.

Venture was unchanged at S$16.51 after spending the early session as the STI's sole gainer. On Thursday after market close, the electronic manufacturing services firm had reported a 10.6 per cent fall in Q4 net profit to S$96.3 million.

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Singtel was the STI's most active counter. The city-state's largest telco traded S$0.08 or 2.6 per cent lower at S$2.99 after 27 million shares changed hands.

The local banks were decidedly lower in afternoon trade. DBS shares lost S$0.50 or 2 per cent to S$24.32, OCBC Bank skidded S$0.25 or 2.3 per cent to S$10.65 and United Overseas Bank was trading at S$24.60, down S$0.67 or 2.7 per cent as at 1.03pm on Friday.

Golden Agri-Resources fell 0.5 Singapore cent or 2.4 per cent to 20 cents. The agribusiness player, dropped from the STI in December 2019, saw net profit for Q4 triple to US$239.6 million on the back of rising palm oil prices.

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

Of the lot, Japan's Nikkei 225 fared worst, dropping 892.76 points or 4.1 per cent to 21,055.47 as at 12.43pm Singapore time.

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