(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market on Tuesday wrote a finish to the five-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 45 points or 1.3 percent. The Straits Times Index closed just below the 3,450-point plateau, and now the market may extend its losses on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft, due to profit taking and renewed concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets ended lower, and the Asian bourses are also tipped to open in the red.

The STI finished slightly lower on Tuesday following weakness from the financial shares, plantation stocks and industrials, while the properties came in mixed.

For the day, the index dipped 7.25 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 3,447.01 after trading between 3,442.44 and 3,469.02. Volume was 110.2 million shares worth 274.3 million Singapore dollars. There were 105 gainers and 36 decliners.

Among the actives, Keppel Corp shed 0.44 percent, while City Developments dropped 1.18 percent, CapitaLand tumbled 1.92 percent, Hongkong Land climbed 1.75 percent, Golden Agri-Resources plunged 2.30 percent, Noble Group fell 1.08 percent, United Overseas Bank lost 0.99 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation gave away 0.75 percent, SembCorp dropped 1.86 percent and SingTel added 0.46 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks moved lower on Tuesday – partly offsetting the strong upward move in the previous session.

The Dow tumbled 200.19 points or 1.1 percent to 17,776.12, while the NASDAQ slid 46.56 points or 0.9 percent to 4,900.88 and the S&P 500 dropped 18.35 points or 0.9 percent to 2,067.89.

The weakness was partly due to profit taking following Monday’s rally, with stocks extending the volatility seen in recent weeks.

Renewed worries about the outlook for interest rates may also have weighed on the markets following remarks by Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker – who stated that a strong case can be made for an increase in interest rates relatively soon.

Traders also digested a mixed batch of economic data, including a report from MNI Indicators showing that Chicago business activity unexpectedly continued to contract in March.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board released a separate report showing an unexpected rebound in consumer confidence in March.

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