The local market was not spared as Asian bourses ended the week in the red, as rising United States Treasury bond yields stoked inflation fears and caused a sharp overnight fall in Wall Street tech shares.
The souring sentiment sent the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) falling 0.82 per cent, or 24.5 points, to end at 2,949.04.
Losers outnumbered gainers 334 to 196 for the day, with 2.82 billion shares worth $2.35 billion changing hands.
It was not that much different across the region. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 Index fell 3.99 per cent while the South Korean benchmark Kospi closed 2.8 per cent down.
Chinese markets also ended the day firmly in the red. The Hang Seng Index slipped 3.64 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 2.12 per cent.
Australian stocks fared dismally as well, falling 2.4 per cent on their worst day in six months, with A$51 billion (S$53 billion) wiped off share valuations. That left the index down 1.8 per cent for the week after it hit a 12-month high only last week.
Mr Jeffrey Halley, Oanda’s senior market analyst for Asia-Pacific, noted: “With Wall Street setting the myopic inflation-watching tone, it is no surprise that Asia has followed suit and headed directly to jail without passing go.”
Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the top performer among the STI constituents for the day, gaining 0.94 per cent to close at $1.07. Local lender UOB was also among the few that made gains. The counter inched up 0.12 per cent to $24.68.
Meanwhile, Dairy Farm ended at the bottom of the index, falling 3.13 per cent to US$4.33.
OCBC Investment Research noted in a market commentary yesterday that the rising bond yields “can be seen as optimism for the economy, so investors are rotating into areas of the market that would benefit from an economic reopening the most”.