Soft Start Seen For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in six straight sessions, sinking more than 130 points or 2.8 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,225-point plateau and it's expected to open under pressure again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, with technology stocks expected to take heavy damage amidst concerns over interest rates. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly lower on Wednesday following mixed performances from the financial shares, property stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index slipped 8.12 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 3,226.07 after trading between 3,210.67 and 3,232.06. Volume was 1.48 billion shares worth 1.56 billion Singapore dollars. There were 254 gainers and 193 decliners.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT and SembCorp Industries both fell 0.36 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust gained 0.45 percent, CapitaLand Investment soared 1.84 percent, City Developments slumped 0.38 percent, Comfort DelGro declined 0.69 percent, Dairy Farm International surged 2.67 percent, DBS Group tanked 1.63 percent, Genting Singapore dropped 0.64 percent, Hongkong Land rose 0.43 percent, Keppel Corp rallied 0.76 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust plunged 2.19 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust shed 0.60 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.68 percent, SATS sank 0.68 percent, Singapore Exchange lost 0.42 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering retreated 0.75 percent, SingTel jumped 1.07 percent, Thai Beverage advanced 0.74 percent, United Overseas Bank tumbled 1.01 percent, Wilmar International added 0.48 percent, Yangzijiang Financial plummeted 4.30 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding spiked 1.68 percent and Mapletree Industrial Trust and Fraser Logistics were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as the major averages shook off early strength on Wednesday and accelerated into the red as the day progressed, finishing well under water.

The Dow tumbled 326.63 points or 1.02 percent to finish at 31,834.11, while the NASDAQ plummeted 373.44 points or 3.18 percent to end at 11,364.24 and the S&P 500 sank 65.87 points or 1.65 percent to close at 3,935.18.

The weakness that emerged on Wall Street came as traders digested a highly anticipated Labor Department report showing the annual rate of inflation slowed less than expected in April.

The data added to concerns the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more aggressively in an effort to bring inflation down at a faster rate, which analysts fear could lead to a period of stagflation or an outright recession.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday, rebounding sharply from recent losses thanks to data showing a significant drop in flows of Russian gas to Europe. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended higher by $5.95 or 6 percent at $105.71 a barrel.

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