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Singapore Stock Market May Find Support At 3,100 Points

The Singapore stock market has moved lower in three straight sessions, sliding almost 75 points or 2.4 percent along the way. The Straight Times Index now rests just above the 3,115-point plateau and it may find traction on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with bargain hunting and interest rate optimism offset by tumbling crude oil prices and trade concerns, The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses ended mixed - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished sharply lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares and industrial issues, although the property sector offered support.

For the day, the index fell 40.40 points or 1.28 percent to finish at 3,115.52 after trading between 3,105.63 and 3,134.65. Volume was 1.28 billion shares worth 860 million Singapore dollars. There were 245 decliners and 151 gainers.

Among the actives, Hutchison Port Holdings surged 3.77 percent, while United Overseas Bank plummeted 2.80 percent, DBS Group plunged 2.07 percent, Golden Agri-Resources tumbled 1.96 percent, Thai Beverage and Singapore Exchange both skidded 1.64 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation both dropped 1.57 percent, Keppel Corp retreated 1.12 percent, Genting Singapore declined 0.99 percent, CapitaLand advanced 0.94 percent, SembCorp Industries shed 0.75 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust added 0.56 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust gained 0.44 percent, Ascendas REIT was up 0.39 percent and SingTel was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed as stocks shrugged off a sharply lower open on Thursday, rebounding to finish mixed.

The Dow shed 79.40 points or 0.32 percent to 24,947.67. while the NASDAQ added 29.83 points or 0.42 percent to 7,188.26 and the S&P 500 fell 4.11 points or 0.15 percent to 2,695.95.

The rebound was partly attributed to reports that Federal Reserve officials are considering a "wait-and-see mentality" after a likely interest rate hike later this month. Traders also went bargain hunting following the early sell-off.

In economic news, payroll processor ADP said private sector employment increased less than expected in November. Also, the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell less than expected in the week ended December 1.

The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit widened to its highest level in ten years in October. Also, the Institute for Supply Management noted acceleration in the pace of growth in service sector activity in November.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Thursday as OPEC postponed a decision about output reduction to later today. Crude oil futures for January ended down $1.40 or 2.7 percent at $51.49 a barrel, after declining to a low of $50.11 a barrel.

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