The Singapore stock market turned emphatically lower again on Monday, one session after it had snapped the two-day losing streak in which it had slipped less than 3 points. The Straits Times Index ended just below the 3,330-point plateau, and now the market is called lower again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is grim, largely because of the continued decline in the price of oil. The European and U.S. markets were sharply lower, and the Asian markets are tipped to open in the red.

The STI finished sharply lower on Monday with broadly based losses – particularly among the financials, properties, plantations and industrials.

For the day, the index dropped 42.31 points or 1.26 percent to finish at 3,328.28 after trading between 3,319.72 and 3,369.05. Volume was 1.26 billion shares worth 845 million Singapore dollars. There were 257 decliners and 165 gainers, with 519 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Keppel Corp shed 1.92 percent, while City Developments dropped 2.04 percent, CapitaLand lost 1.21 percent, DBS Group fell 2.24 percent, United Overseas Bank dipped 2.24 percent, Golden Agri-Resources tumbled 3.26 percent, Wilmar International slid 1.22 percent and SembCorp plunged 3.14 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as stocks tumbled along with crude oil prices Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its worst daily loss in three months.

The Dow shed 331.21 points or 1.9 percent to 17,501.78, while the S&P 500 fell 37.61 points or 1.8 percent to 2,020.59 and the NASDAQ dropped 74.24 points or 1.6 percent to 4,652.57.

Crude oil briefly plunged below $ 50 for the first time in more than five years. Concerns that Greece may depart the euro zone also kept markets on edge throughout the session.

Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, plunged $ 2.65 or 5.0 percent to close at $ 50.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday.

Energy stocks turned in some of the market’s worst performances on the day. Reflecting the weakness in the sector, the NYSE Arca Oil & Gas Index plunged 4.5 percent.

Gold stocks bucked the downtrend as traders valued the precious metal for its safe haven appeal. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index was up 1.9 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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