The Singapore stock market has closed in the red in back-to-back sessions, dipping almost 20 points or 0.6 percent in that span. The Straits Times Index settled just below the 3,400-point plateau, and the market may extend its losses on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative thanks to concerns about interest rates in the United States, plus worries over the situation in Greece. The European and U.S. markets were firmly lower, and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The STI finished slightly lower on Tuesday following heavy losses among the plantation stocks and mixed performances from the financial shares and properties.

For the day, the index eased 6.31 points or 0.19 percent to finish at 3,398.26 after trading between 3,394.52 and 3,416.39. Volume was 1.17 billion shares worth 1.18 billion Singapore dollars.

Among the actives, City Developments shed 0.30 percent, while Hongkong Land fell 0.51 percent, Golden Agri-Resources tumbled 2.38 percent, Noble Group plummeted 6.50 percent, Genting Singapore lost 2.60 percent, United Overseas Bank dipped 0.39 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.38 percent and Thai Beverage surged 2.05 percent.

The lead from Wall Street suggests consolidation as stocks moved sharply lower on Tuesday, more than offsetting the strength in the previous session. With the losses, the Dow and the S&P 500 pulled back from recent record highs.

The Dow plummeted 332.78 points or 1.9 percent to 17,662.94, while the NASDAQ tumbled 82.64 points or 1.7 percent at 4,859.80 and the S&P 500 plunged 35.27 points or 1.7 percent to 2,044.16.

The sell-off reflected worries about the impact of the stronger U.S. dollar, which jumped to a twelve-year high versus the euro. Concerns about the outlook for interest rates also weighed ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting next week.

Negative sentiment was also generated by weakness in the overseas markets, with European stocks under pressure amid concerns about the situation in Greece. Officials will meet today with experts from the organizations overseeing the country’s bailout to discuss planned reforms.

by RTT Staff Writer

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