Soft Start Seen For Singapore Stock Market


The Singapore stock market on Friday ended the three-day winning streak in which it had gained almost 50 points or 1.6 percent.

The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 3,170-point plateau and it’s expected to open under pressure again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is one of caution ahead of the FOMC meeting later this week. The European markets were mixed and flat and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the industrials and mixed performances from the financial shares and property stocks.

For the day, the index shed 13.44 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 3,172.96 after trading between 3,155.31 and 3,180.52.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT slumped 1.48 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust declined 1.54 percent, CapitaLand Investment tumbled 2.20 percent, City Developments weakened 1.34 percent, Comfort DelGro rallied 1.46 percent, DBS Group rose 0.14 percent, Emperador plummeted 6.98 percent, Genting Singapore retreated 1.67 percent, Hongkong Land added 0.62 percent, Keppel DC REIT skidded 1.18 percent, Keppel Ltd eased 0.14 percent, Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust surrendered 2.29 percent, Mapletree Industrial Trust shed 0.87 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust stumbled 2.04 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.15 percent, SATS and SembCorp Industries both lost 0.39 percent, Seatrium Limited plunged 3.26 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering dropped 1.01 percent, Thai Beverage sank 0.99 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding tanked 2.86 percent and Wilmar International, Yangzijiang Financial and SingTel were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened lower on Friday and remained under water throughout the trading day.

The Dow tumbled 190.89 points or 0.49 percent to finish at 38,714.77, while the NASDAQ dropped 155.36 points or 0.96 percent to close at 15,973.17 and the S&P 500 sank 33.39 points or 0.65 percent to end at 5,117.09. For the week, the NASDAQ fell 0.7 percent, the S&P eased 0.1 percent and the Dow was nearly flat.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected concerns about the outlook for interest rates ahead of the Fed’s monetary policy meeting later this week.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will look to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for rates. Recent hotter-than-expected inflation readings have reduced optimism that the Fed’s first rate cut may come in June.

In economic news, the Labor Department said U.S. import prices increased in line with estimates in February, while export prices exceeded expectations. The Fed also noted a slight increase in U.S. industrial production in February.

Oil prices dropped on Friday, retreating from multi-month highs, due largely to profit taking after recent strong gains. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down by $0.22 at $81.04 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will see February data for non-oil domestic exports later this morning; in January, exports were up 2.3 percent on month and 16.8 percent on year. – RTT News

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