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Singapore stocks tumble amid global rout; STI drops 2%

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Singapore shares took a beating on Friday tracking a Wall Street rout overnight, with the benchmark Straits Times Index tumbling 62.75 points or 2 per cent to 3,048.95 as at 9.01am.

SINGAPORE shares took a beating on Friday tracking a Wall Street rout overnight, with the benchmark Straits Times Index tumbling 62.75 points or 2 per cent to 3,048.95 as at 9.01am. 

Decliners outnumbered advancers 197 to 29, after about 105.2 million securities worth S$238.6 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Singtel fell S$0.08 or 2.6 per cent to S$2.99, with 6.5 million shares traded, while Genting Singapore lost 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.6 per cent to 82.5 Singapore cents, with 4.7 million shares traded. 

Amid a sea of red, the trio of banking stocks were down in the early morning trade. United Overseas Bank shed S$0.67 or 2.7 per cent to S$24.60, DBS lost S$0.42 or 1.7 per cent to S$24.40, while OCBC Bank lost S$0.17 or 1.6 per cent to S$10.73. 

Other active index stocks included SATS which retreated S$0.11 or 2.6 per cent to S$4.11. This comes after the airport and food services provider said that it has slashed pay for its management team and is letting staff opt for voluntary early retirement and voluntary unpaid leave as pressure mounts from the coronavirus outbreak.

Separately, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding declined 2.5 Singapore cents or 2.6 per cent to 95 Singapore cents, after the shipbuilder on Friday posted a 30 per cent drop in net profit to 642.3 million yuan (S$127.9 million) for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31.

Over in the US, stocks fell into correction territory overnight, as concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on economic growth gripped global markets.

The Dow slumped nearly 1,200 points or 4.4 per cent to finish at 25,766.64, its worst session in more than two years, and the S&P 500 plunged 4.4 per cent to 2,978.76. Meanwhile, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 4.6 per cent to 8,566.48 by the closing bell on Thursday. 

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan's Topix dropped 2.6 per cent, and South Korea's Kospi fell 1.2 per cent, while Australia stocks declined 3.1 per cent.