Singapore Market Draws Lower Open On Thursday

The Singapore stock market on Wednesday snapped the modest two-day winning streak in which it had gained almost 20 points or 0.6 percent. The Straits Times Index ended just above the 3,415-point plateau, and now the market may extend its losses on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft due to expected profit taking following recent rallies, and caution ahead of U.S. employment data on Friday. The European markets were higher and the U.S. bourses were down, and the Asian markets also figure to open in the red.

The STI finished slightly lower on Wednesday following weakness from the property stocks and telecoms and mixed performances from the financial shares and plantations.

For the day, the index fell 6.58 points or 0.19 percent to finish at 3,415.53 after trading between 3,415.43 and 3,430.19. Volume was 1.4 billion shares worth 1 billion Singapore dollars.

Among the actives, DBS Group jumped 1.09 percent, while United Overseas Bank dipped 0.43 percent, Golden Agri-Resources spiked 2.41 percent, Wilmar International dropped 1.21 percent, Noble Group fell 0.99 percent, CapitaMall Trust tumbled 1.85 percent, Hongkong Land shed 0.65 percent, Thai Beverage surged 2.82 percent and SingTel fell 0.48 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks moved lower on Wednesday, extending the pullback in the previous session.

The Dow slid 106.47 points or 0.6 percent to 18,096.90, while the NASDAQ dipped 12.76 points or 0.3 percent to 4,967.14 and the S&P 500 fell 9.25 points or 0.4 percent to 2,098.53.

The early weakness was due to profit taking, with traders continuing to cash in on recent rallies. The initial pullback dragged the Dow and the S&P 500 further off the record closing highs set on Monday, while the NASDAQ fell further below 5,000.

Traders also reacted to a report from payroll processor ADP showing a notable slowdown in the pace of private sector job growth in February. The disappointing ADP caused uneasiness ahead of Friday’s Labor Department report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.

Also, the Institute for Supply Management reported a modest uptick by its reading on service sector activity, but the internals were mixed. Later, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book said economic activity continued to expand across most regions from January through mid-February.

by RTT Staff Writer

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