(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has finished lower now in two straight sessions, giving away almost 40 points or 1.2 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index closed just above the 3,400-point plateau, and the market may take further damage on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation as mixed economic data from the United States may give investors a chance to lock in gains following recent rallies. The European markets were mostly higher and the U.S. bourses were down – and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The STI finished modestly lower on Friday following heavy damage from the plantation stocks and more moderate losses from the financial shares and properties.
For the day, the index lost 23.32 points or 0.68 percent to finish at the daily low of 3,402.86 after peaking at 3,428.75. Volume was 1.51 billion shares worth 1.41 billion Singapore dollars.
Among the actives, City Developments shed 1.16 percent, while CapitaMall Trust lost 0.94 percent, Golden Agri-Resources dropped 1.22 percent, Wilmar International tumbled 2.11 percent, Noble Group plummeted 8.01 percent, DBS Group fell 0.61 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation retreated 1.04 percent and SingTel slipped 1.40 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks moved mostly lower on Friday, although the selling pressure was subdued and limited the downside for the markets.
The Dow slid 81.72 points or 0.5 percent to 18,132.70, while the NASDAQ fell 24.36 points or 0.5 percent to 4,963.53 and the S&P 500 dropped 6.24 points or 0.3 percent to 2,104.50. For the week, the NASDAQ added 0.2 percent, while the Dow eased less than a tenth of a percent and the S&P 500 slipped 0.3 percent.
The weakness reflected profit taking following the recent strength which lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to record closing highs. Some analysts also question whether the markets can sustain the upward move with expectations for an interest rate hike in the relatively near term.
Traders were also digesting a slew of U.S. economic data, including a Commerce Department report showing a downward revision to the pace of economic growth in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors said that pending home sales climbed to their best level in eighteen months in January. Also, the University of Michigan noted that U.S. consumer sentiment fell by less than previously estimated in February.
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