All eyes on Europe as STI hits 5-month low
THE local market plumbed a five-month low yesterday, weighed down by a heavy sell-off on Wall Street sparked by concerns over the global economy.
All eyes are now on the outcome of a European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting, held last night Singapore time.
The benchmark Straits Times Index lost 35.38 points or 1.08 per cent to end at 3,228.71 yesterday.
The index has lost ground for four days straight to reach its lowest level since the middle of May.
Markets across the rest of Asia also fell yesterday, led by Tokyo, where the Nikkei index tumbled 2.61 per cent. South Korea's Kospi index slid 0.8 per cent and Taiwan's Taiex index lost 0.2 per cent.
The Hong Kong market remained closed yesterday, but reopens today. Bourses in mainland China such as Shanghai are shut until Tuesday.
Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have called for the leader of the financial hub to resign by the end of the day.
The sea of red across Asia yesterday followed a rocky start to the morning, after major stock indices in the United States tumbled sharply overnight.
The S&P 500 slid 1.32 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.40 per cent and the Nasdaq sank 1.59 per cent as investors shied away from equities in favour of less risky assets such as sovereign bonds.
Investors now await US jobs data that will be released today, along with more details on the scope of a planned monetary-stimulus programme by the ECB.
The most active counter on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) yesterday was real-estate firm Top Global, which closed 0.1 cent up at 0.9 cent with 319.4 million shares changing hands.
The second-most active stock was Catalist-listed International Healthway Corporation (IHC), which closed flat at 27 cents with 83.7 million shares traded.
IHC has been among the most traded stocks this year, with a turnover velocity at a staggering 254.4 per cent, according to a SGX My Gateway report. Turnover velocity is a ratio of a stock's monthly share turnover to its month-end market value.
DBS Group Holdings lost 16 cents to end at $18.25 while OCBC slipped three cents to $9.71 yesterday.
DMG Research said in a report yesterday that the protests in Hong Kong may dampen sentiments for Singapore banks, noting that DBS and OCBC have both had to suspend services at some branches there.