Singapore stocks sink at open amid renewed US-China tensions; STI down 3.2%

Singapore stocks sink at open amid renewed US-China tensions; STI down 3.2%

The Business Times·2020-05-04 10:15

SINGAPORE shares pulled back when trading began at the start of the week, along with other Asian markets. This comes as US stock futures fell amid escalating US-China tensions over the Covid-19 pandemic.On the Singapore bourse, the benchmark Straits Times Index lost 84.87 points or 3.2 per cent to 2,539.36 as at 9.01am.Losers outnumbered gainers 178 to 27, after about 89.7 million securities worth S$133.2 million changed hands.Among the most heavily traded by volume, CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) shed S$0.08 or 4.2 per cent to S$1.81, with 5.5 million units traded, while ComfortDelGro lost S$0.08 or 4.9 per cent to S$1.57, with 5.2 million shares traded.CMT announced last Thursday that it had entered cash-conservation mode amid the volatility of Covid-19, leading to a 70.5 per cent fall in distribution per unit to 0.85 cent for the first quarter ended March.Stay updated with BT newslettersAmid a sea of red, the trio of banking stocks also fell in the early session of trading. DBS declined S$0.60 or 3 per cent to S$19.36, UOB slipped S$0.77 or 3.8 per cent to S$19.57, while OCBC Bank shed S$0.28 or 3.1 per cent to S$8.76.DBS on Thursday reported a 29 per cent fall in first-quarter net profit from a year ago that brought its earnings to its lowest level since 2017. In response to shareholder queries for its virtual annual general meeting, the lender noted that its chief executive Piyush Gupta will remain in his position "for the foreseeable future".Meanwhile, SATS plunged S$0.25 or 7.6 per cent to S$3.03. In a profit guidance last Thursday, the gateway services provider said it expects its profit to decline by 60 to 70 per cent year on year for the fourth quarter ended March, resulting in a fall of up to 25 per cent for the full year.Other active securities included CapitaLand which was down S$0.14 or 4.7 per cent to S$2.87. In a first-quarter business update on Monday, the property behemoth said it saw fee income drop 9 per cent to S$54.2 million from a year earlier.Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia stocks slid 1.1 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi tumbled 2.6 per cent.There was thin trade in the region with China and Japan on holiday, while US stock futures fell 1.6 per cent after the gauge lost 2.8 per cent on Friday, Reuters reported.

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