Losses May Accelerate For Singapore Stock Market

(RTTNews) - The Singapore stock market has moved lower in two straight sessions, falling almost 15 points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,395-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on sliding crude oil prices and ahead of U.S. employment data later today. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets figure to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished slightly lower on Thursday following mixed performances from the financial shares and industrials.

For the day, the index fell 6.87 points or 0.20 percent to finish at 3,393.33 after trading between 3,376.09 and 3,395.40. Volume was 878 million shares worth 1.11 billion Singapore dollars. There were 218 decliners and 192 gainers.

Among the actives, Hongkong Land Holdings surged 3.44 percent, while Hutchison Port Holdings plummeted 2.13 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust soared 1.20 percent, Comfort DelGro spiked 0.74 percent, Thai Beverage tumbled 0.60 percent, Genting Singapore and CapitaLand Commercial Trust both advanced 0.52 percent, SembCorp Industries climbed 0.38 percent, Ascendas REIT and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation both added 0.33 percent, CapitaLand gained 0.28 percent, Wilmar International rose 0.27 percent, DBS Group dipped 0.18 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.07 percent and Golden Agri-Resources, SingTel, Keppel Corp and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is weak as stock shrugged off a positive open Thursday but turned lower as the day progressed and finished in the red.

The Dow shed 122.35 points or 0.46 percent to 25,307.79, while the NASDAQ lost 12.87 points or 0.16 percent to 8,036.77 and the S&P 500 fell 6.21 points or 0.21 percent to 2,917.52.

The pullback on Wall Street was attributed to continued disappointment with Wednesday's remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggesting the central bank is not likely to lower interest rates in the near future as some had hoped.

Traders also moved out of risky assets such as stocks ahead of the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report later today.

In economic news, the Labor Department said productivity surged 3.6 percent in the first quarter after climbing by a downwardly revised 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Also, the Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured goods jumped more than expected in March amid a rebound in orders for transportation equipment.

Crude oil futures fell to their lowest level in about a month on Thursday, weighed down by data showing record U.S. crude production and inventories. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down $1.79 or 2.8 percent at $61.81 a barrel, the lowest settlement since April 1.

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