Losses May Accelerate For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in back-to-back trading days, surrendering more than 55 points or 1.8 percent along the way. The Strait Times Index now rests just above the 3,010-point plateau and it may extend its losses on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative, with bad news from Apple expected to weigh heavily on technology stocks. The European and U.S. markets were firmly in the red and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The STI finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the financial shares and industrial issues were mitigated by support from the property sector.

For the day, the index dropped 26.01 points or 0.86 percent to finish at 3,012.88 after trading between 3,002.40 and 3,041.03. Volume was 1.16 billion shares worth 886 million Singapore dollars. There were 218 decliners and 154 gainers.

Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources plummeted 4.08 percent, while Thai Beverage plunged 2.48 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings soared 2.08 percent, DBS Group tumbled 1.70 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding skidded 1.60 percent, United Overseas Bank dropped 1.32 percent, Wilmar International retreated 1.28 percent, CapitaLand declined 0.98 percent, Comfort DelGro shed 0.93 percent, Keppel Corp lost 0.85 percent, Ascendas REIT advanced 0.78 percent, SingTel fell 0.69 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation slid 0.63 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust was down 0.57 percent, SembCorp Industries eased 0.40 percent and Genting Singapore was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is brutal as stocks opened sharply lower on Thursday and remained that way throughout the session.

The Dow shed 660.02 points or 2.83 percent to 22,686.22, while the NASDAQ lost 202.43 points or 3.04 percent to 6,463.50 and the S&P fell 62.14 points or 2.48 percent to 2,447.89.

Downwardly revised guidance from Apple (AAPL) contributed to the early selloff on Wall Street, with the tech giant plunging 10 percent. The lower guidance was attributed to a greater than expected impact from economic weakness in some emerging markets and China.

In economic news, the Institute for Supply Management noted a bigger than expected slowdown in U.S. manufacturing activity in December. Also, payroll processor ADP reported much stronger than expected U.S. private sector job growth in December.

Crude oil prices extended gains to a fourth successive session Thursday on hopes the proposed reduction in oil output by OPEC will allay fears of excess supply in the market. Crude oil futures for February ended up $0.55 or 1.2 percent at $47.09 a barrel.

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