(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has finished lower now in consecutive trading days, although it has fallen less than 3 points in that span. The Straits Times Index remained just above the 3,365-point plateau, and now the market may see continued if mild weakness on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is slightly soft, with a heavy dose of volatility in what is expected to be light trade following the New Year’s holiday. Weak economic data from the United States adds to the negative sentiment. The European markets were mixed on Wednesday and the U.S. bourses were down, and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The STI finished barely lower on Wednesday following mixed performances from the financial shares, property stocks and plantations.
For the day, the index eased 0.96 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 3,365.15 after trading between 3,364.64 and 3,373.08. Volume was 587.7 million shares worth 514.0 million Singapore dollars.
Among the actives, City Developments shed 0.77 percent, while CapitaLand jumped 1.22 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation lost 0.38 percent, Olam International tumbled 2.88 percent, Wilmar International fell 0.31 percent, SembCorp added 0.45 percent, SingTel dipped 0.51 percent and Noble Group advanced 0.88 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks turned lower on Wednesday. While the pullback was exaggerated by light volume, the major averages showed a steep drop after opening higher.
The Dow tumbled 160.00 points or 0.9 percent to 17,823.07, while the NASDAQ slid 41.39 points or 0.9 percent to 4,736.05 and the S&P 500 slumped 21.45 points or 1 percent to 2,058.90. For the year, the Dow surged 7.5 percent, while the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 soared 13.4 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.
The pullback by stocks may partly have reflected profit taking on the last trading day of 2014 following the strength seen for much of the year.
In economic news, the Labor Department noted a bigger than expected rebound in initial jobless claims in the week ended December 27. MNI Indicators also said its Chicago business barometer fell to a five-month low in December.
On the other hand, the National Association of Realtors reported a bigger than expected rebound in pending home sales in November.
Later this morning, Singapore will release preliminary gross domestic product figures for the fourth quarter and all of 2014; in Q3, GDP was up 3.1 percent on quarter and 2.8 percent on year in Q3.
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