(RTTNews.com) – The losing streak has stretched to five sessions now for the Singapore stock market, which has fallen almost 55 points or 1.7 percent in that span. The Straits Times Index closed just above the 3,360-point plateau, and the market may take further damage on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft thanks to weak economic data and caution ahead of this week’s FOMC meeting. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down, and the Asian markets are also tipped to open in the red.

The STI finished slightly lower on Friday following losses from the airlines and a mixed performance from the financials, plantations and properties.

For the day, the index dipped 10.83 points or 0.32 percent to finish at 3,362.77 after trading between 3,362.16 and 3,381.46. Volume was 1.11 billion shares worth 910 million Singapore dollars. There were 215 gainers and 192 decliners, with 528 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, CapitaMall Trust spiked 2.42 percent, while Hongkong Land dropped 1.15 percent, Wilmar International lost 1.23 percent, Noble Group climbed 2.15 percent, SIA tumbled 2.35 percent, DBS Group collected 0.20 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.48 percent, Singapore Exchange retreated 1.16 percent and SingTel added 0.73 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks were down on Friday, offsetting the rally in the previous session. Another surge from the U.S. dollar also was a factor in the weak trade after hitting a 12-year high versus the euro.

The Dow slid 145.91 points or 0.8 percent to 17,749.31, while the NASDAQ dipped 21.53 points or 0.4 percent to 4,871.76 and the S&P 500 fell 12.55 points or 0.6 percent to 2,053.40. For the week, the Dow shed 0.6 percent, while the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 tumbled 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

A continued decrease in the price of crude oil also weighed on the markets, with the price of oil pulling back toward its recent lows.

Negative sentiment was also generated by a report from the University of Michigan showing an unexpected deterioration in consumer sentiment in March.

However, traders went bargain hunting late in the session, looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting. While the Fed is not expected to announce an increase in interest rates, traders will be paying close attention to any changes to the accompanying statement.

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