Jul 07, 2016

    No respite for punters in Asia, Europe

    WHILE punters here took a breather with the Singapore bourse closed for the Hari Raya Puasa holiday yesterday, there was no such respite for investors elsewhere.

    In China, stocks struggled as the yuan fell to fresh 51/2-year lows and investors fled riskier assets on worries over the fallout from Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

    The yuan extended its slide to a fifth straight session after China's central bank sharply weakened its official guidance rate as the dollar surged.

    Both the blue-chip CSI300 and Shanghai Composite indexes fell 0.3 per cent in early trade but buying interest revived later in the session.

    Consumer stocks rose 3.8 per cent, with resources and healthcare up 1.8 per cent, but banks slid.

    In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 1.2 per cent to 20,495.29.

    Tokyo stocks also tumbled as fresh worries over Britain's vote to leave the EU sent the yen soaring, denting exporters, including Toyota and rival carmaker Honda.

    The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended 1.85 per cent, or 290.34 points, lower at 15,378.99 after tumbling more than 3 per cent in late morning trade.

    The broader Topix index fell 1.79 per cent, or 22.44 points, to 1,234.20.

    In Taiwan, stocks also slipped, shedding recent gains that had taken the Taiex index to more than three-month highs as regional markets also declined.

    The losses were broad-based as all major sub-sectors were down.

    Index heavyweight contract chipmaker TSMC was down 2.1 per cent.

    There was little to cheer too in Europe as the main stock markets slid at the start of trading yesterday, extending recent Brexit-driven losses as the British pound nosedived to a fresh 31-year low.

    London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dipped 0.2 per cent compared with Tuesday's close to open at 6,530.43 points.

    Frankfurt's DAX 30 dropped 0.9 per cent to 9,449.57 points and the Paris CAC 40 shed almost 0.9 per cent to 4,127.20.

    "Renewed worries about Brexit fallout, exacerbated by property fund suspensions, dragged Asian equities lower... along with further declines by oil on global growth fears," said Accendo Markets analyst Mike van Dulken.