(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the modest two-day winning streak in which it had advanced just 8 points or 0.2 percent. The Straits Times Index closed just above the 3,420-point plateau, and the market figures to be rangebound again on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets provides little clarity, thanks to a lack of catalysts as the markets return from the Lunar New Year break. The European and U.S. markets were mixed but little changed, and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow that lead.
The STI finished modestly lower on Monday as losses from the telecoms, airlines and industrials were tempered by support from the financials and mixed performances from the properties and plantations.
For the day, the index shed 14.36 points or 0.42 percent to finish at the daily low of 3,421.30 after peaking at 3,458.14. Volume was 1.07 billion shares worth 1.28 billion Singapore dollars. There were 224 gainers and 214 decliners, with 498 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Keppel Corp shed 1.14 percent, while City Developments added 0.49 percent, CapitaLand dropped 1.36 percent, Hongkong Land plunged 2.30 percent, SIA tumbled 2.12 percent, DBS Group jumped 1.03 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.48 percent, Golden Agri-Resources dropped 1.18 percent, Noble Group advanced 1.40 percent, Olam International climbed 1.50 percent and SingTel fell 2.80 percent.
The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Monday. The major averages ended mixed, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ posting a modest gain.
The NASDAQ inched up 5.00 points or 0.1 percent to a nearly fifteen-year high of 4,960.97, while the Dow dipped 23.60 points or 0.1 percent to 18,116.84 and the S&P 500 eased 0.64 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,109.66.
The choppy trading came as traders expressed uncertainty about the outlook for the markets following recent strength.
Traders also stayed on the sidelines ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony later today before the House and Senate. Her remarks are likely to be closely analyzed for hints about the outlook for interest rates.
On the U.S. economic front, the National Association of Realtors reported a bigger than expected drop in existing home sales in January – touching a nine-month low.
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