Singapore Shares May Open Under Pressure On Thursday

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, sinking more than 49 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,225-point plateau and it's tipped to open in the red again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on recession concerns and on the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the financial shares, trusts and properties.

For the day, the index shed 26.92 points or 0.83 percent to finish at the daily low of 3,225.45 after peaking at 3,252.25. Volume was 1.5 billion shares worth 1.1 billion Singapore dollars. There were 319 decliners and 227 gainers.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT weakened 1.08 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust tumbled 1.95 percent, CapitaLand Investment plummeted 3.80 percent, City Developments tanked 2.06 percent, Comfort DelGro dropped 0.80 percent, DBS Group declined 1.47 percent, Emperador climbed 1.03 percent, Hongkong Land spiked 2.62 percent, Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust surrendered 1.76 percent, Mapletree Industrial Trust stumbled 1.35 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust slumped 1.23 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation dipped 0.16 percent, SATS plunged 2.72 percent, SembCorp Industries lost 0.62 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering fell 0.59 percent, SingTel shed 0.75 percent, United Overseas Bank sank 0.78 percent, Wilmar International skidded 0.98 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding retreated 1.43 percent and Keppel Corp, Thai Beverage, Genting Singapore and Yangzijiang Financial were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed to lower following a volatile Wednesday that saw the major averages bounce back and forth across the unchanged line before ending on opposite sides.

The Dow rose 1.58 points or 0.00 percent to finish at 33,597.92, while the NASDAQ sank 56.34 points or 0.51 percent to end at 10,958.55 and the S&P 500 dipped 7.34 points or 0.19 percent to close at 3,933.92.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

The Fed still seems poised to slow the pace of interest rate hikes, but recent upbeat economic data has raised concerns about how much further the central bank will raise rates at future meetings.

The recent selling on Wall Street partly reflects worries the Fed will need to push the economy into a prolonged recession in order to bring inflation down close to its 2 percent target.

Crude oil prices fell sharply Wednesday, weighed down by data showing a sharp increase in gasoline inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for January ended lower by $2.24 or 3 percent at $72.01 a barrel, losing for the fourth consecutive session.

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