Stocks have been under pressure since the US 10-year Treasury bond yield rose above three percent to fresh seven-year high after a strong US jobs reading and hawkish commentary from Jerome Powell.
At the meantime, over the course of the past two weeks, the International Monetary Fund slashed its global growth forecast from 3.9 percent to 3.7 percent on worries about trade war and weakness in emerging markets.
Over the fortnight on Wall Street, stocks saw steep declines with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding 4.7 percent to 25,379.45, the S&P 500 lost 4.6 percent to 2,768.78 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped five percent to 7,485.14.
Asian shares took a negative lead from US with China led the retreat with the Shanghai Composite Index plunging 9.6 percent to 2,550.47 in the last two weeks. Adding more woes to Chinese investors, China announced its 3Q18 GDP figures which showed growth slowing to 6.5 percent on 19 October 2018, and further guided to more slowdown from the pressure of trade war. Meanwhile, the Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 Index fell 5.3 percent to 22,532.08 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 3.8 percent to 25,561.40.
On the local market, the Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that Singapore’s GDP grew 2.6 percent in the latest quarter, moderating from 4.1 percent in 2Q18.
On 17 October 2018, the Urban Redevelopment Authority announced new rules on average unit size for non-landed housing developments outside central area to at least 85 sqm, up from 70 sqm. The Straits Times Index declined 4.6 percent for the fortnight, closing at 3,062.51.