SINGAPORE, Feb 9 — South-east Asian stock markets tumbled today after Wall Street plummeted for yet another session, as investors fled to safe havens in a highly volatile global market.
US markets remained the epicentre of the global selloff, with the Dow plunging 4.1 per cent and the S&P 500 sinking 3.7 per cent overnight.
With yesterday's declines, the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials confirmed they were in correction territory, both falling more than 10 per cent from January 26 record highs.
Asian markets followed suit, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan sliding 2 per cent.
Philippine shares slid as much as 2.6 per cent, with real estate and financial stocks bearing the brunt.
“The fall in the US markets precipitated the decline in the Philippine market as well as the regional market,” said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec Equities Inc in Manila.
To ease investor concerns of a potential US rate hike, Philippine central bank Governor Nestor Espenilla said yesterday that the country was well protected and the bank was prepared to provide liquidity to the financial system if necessary.
The Philippine central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady yesterday.
“Given the increase in inflation for January, there is some worry that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will be compelled to increase rates, and this is the reason why you are seeing some selling pressure on real estate stocks, especially blue chip Ayala Land,” added Cruz.
Ayala Land fell as much as 3.2 per cent, while SM Investments Corp nosedived nearly 4 per cent.
The country posted a US$29.8 billion (RM117.25 billion) trade deficit in 2017, its largest on record, the Philippine Statistics Authority said today.
Singapore shares reversed Thursday's gains to fall as much as 2.2 per cent, on track for a fifth session of losses in six.
Top lender DBS Group Holdings, which brought temporary relief to the index yesterday, amid global market uncertainty, fell as much as 3 per cent.
Its peers were among the top losers on the index, with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd falling to a 2-1/2 month low, and United Overseas Bank Ltd down as much as 2.7 per cent.
Malaysian shares slipped as much as 1.8 per cent, ahead of the industrial production data expected later in the session.
Malaysia's industrial production in December likely rose 4 per cent from a year ago, a Reuters poll showed, slower than the previous month.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd pulled the index lower, falling as much as 1.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively.
Vietnam shares dropped as much as 4.8 per cent, erasing all gains so far this year. — Reuters