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Singapore Shares May Take Further Damage On Thursday

The Singapore stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the two-day slide in which it had fallen almost 25 points or 0.8 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,260-point plateau and the losses may accelerate on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed recession fears following another big rate hike from the FOMC. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

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

For the day, the index dipped 5.15 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 3,261.79 after trading between 3,254.77 and 3,271.96. Volume was 1 billion shares worth 970.1 million Singapore dollars. There were 300 decliners and 182 gainers.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT lost 0.71 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust sank 0.48 percent, CapitaLand Investment stumbled 0.82 percent, City Developments retreated 1.21 percent, Comfort DelGro gained 0.71 percent, DBS Group shed 0.39 percent, Genting Singapore declined 1.24 percent, Hongkong Land rose 0.41 percent, Keppel Corp improved 0.98 percent, Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust tanked 1.59 percent, Mapletree Industrial Trust tumbled 1.56 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust plummeted 2.92 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.16 percent, SATS added 0.74 percent, SembCorp Industries lost 0.32 percent, Emperador plunged 1.98 percent, SingTel and Frasers Logistics both slumped 0.74 percent, United Overseas Bank advanced 1.06 percent, Yangzijiang Financial climbed 1.30 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding jumped 1.98 percent and Singapore Technologies Engineering, Thai Beverage, Wilmar International and DFI Retail Group were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up negative as the major averages were steady throughout Wednesday session until the FOMC's rate decision sent them tumbling, closing near daily lows.

The Dow plummeted 522.45 points or 1.70 percent to finish at 30,183.78, while the NASDAQ tumbled 204.86 points or 1.79 percent to close at 11,220.19 and the S&P sank 66.00 points or 1.71 percent to end at 3,789.93.

The late-day volatility came after the Fed raised interest rates by another three-quarters of a percentage point and signaled further aggressive rate hikes for the remainder of the year.

Citing its dual goals of maximum employment and inflation at a rate of 2 percent over the longer run, the Fed decided to raise its target range for the federal funds rate by 75 basis points to 3 to 3.25 percent.

The move marks the third straight 75 basis point rate hike by the Fed and lifts rates to their highest level since early 2008. With inflation remaining elevated, the Fed also said it expects that ongoing interest rate increases will be appropriate.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Wednesday amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand after the Federal Reserve's announcement of a sharp hike in interest rates raised fears about a recession. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended lower by $1.00 or 1.2 percent at $82.94 a barrel.

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