(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has closed lower in consecutive trading days, giving away almost 15 points or 0.5 percent in that span. The Straits Times Index settled just above the 3,360-point plateau, although the market is tipped to stop the bleeding on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat following dovish commentary from the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement. The European markets were mixed ahead of the statement, but the U.S. bourses were firmly higher – and the Asian markets are also tipped to open in the green.
The STI finished slightly lower on Wednesday following weakness from the property stocks and mixed performances from the financial shares and plantation stocks.
For the day, the index dipped 8.20 points or 0.24 percent to finish at 3,361.75 after trading between 3,356.66 and 3,373.57. Volume was 1.05 billion shares worth 1.02 billion Singapore dollars. There were 300 decliners and 156 gainers, with 475 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, CapitaLand dropped 1.14 percent, while CapitaMall Trust tumbled 2.36 percent, SIA climbed 2.03 percent, DBS Group collected 0.71 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.29 percent, Golden Agri-Resources jumped 1.25 percent, Noble Group plummeted 3.89 percent and SingTel lost 0.96 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as stocks moved sharply higher on Wednesday in response to the Fed’s announcement – which traders viewed as dovish regarding the outlook for interest rates.
The Dow jumped 227.11 points or 1.3 percent to 18,076.19, while the NASDAQ advanced 45.39 points or 0.9 percent to 4,982.83 and the S&P 500 surged 25.14 points or 1.2 percent to 2,099.42.
As widely expected, the Fed’s statement no longer included the central bank’s pledge to remain “patient” regarding normalizing monetary policy. However, the Fed said economic growth has moderated and called it unlikely it would raise interest at its April meeting.
In her subsequent press conference, Fed Chair Janet Yellen noted that removing the word patient from the statement doesn’t mean the central bank is going to be impatient.
The Fed also lowered its forecasts for GDP growth over the next three years as well as its outlook for interest rates at the end of this year.
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