(RTTNews) – The Singapore stock market has finished lower in back-to-back sessions, sliding almost 30 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,280-point plateau although it may find traction on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive after FOMC minutes showed no hurry to hike interest rates – although the latest chaos out of Washington dents sentiment. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets figure to open in similar fashion.
The STI finished modestly lower on Wednesday as losses from the financials were offset by support from the properties and plantations.
For the day, the index shed 15.98 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 3,278.95 after trading between 3,259.40 and 3,284.89. Volume was 1.74 billion shares worth 1.18 billion Singapore dollars. There were 262 decliners and 168 gainers.
Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 2.24 percent, while DBS Group skidded 1.88 percent, City Developments advanced 1.56 percent, Golden Agri-Resources climbed 1.37 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings tumbled 1.12 percent, United Overseas Bank dropped 0.96 percent, Genting Singapore gained 0.85 percent, Singapore Press Holdings added 0.71 percent, CapitaLand climbed 0.53 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation eased 0.18 percent and Wilmar International, Thai Beverage and SingTel were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks were up on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session.
The Dow added 25.88 points or 0.12 percent to 22,024.87, while the NASDAQ gained 12.20 points or 0.19 percent to 6,345.11 and the S&P was up 3.50 points or 0.14 percent to 2,468.11.
Traders backed off thanks to political turmoil in Washington DC and the disintegration of the president’s business advisory council. Trump is facing backlash for his handling of recent white nationalist violence, when he equivocated the actions of neo-Nazis with counter-protesters.
Earlier, the latest Fed minutes showed that the Federal Reserve remains on track to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet at an “upcoming” meeting. Policy makers also expect to raise their benchmark lending rate by a quarter percentage point one more time this year.
Crude oil futures tumbled Wednesday, despite a big drop in U.S. oil inventories. Speculation that OPEC will fail to re-balance global oil markets continues to weigh on oil prices, as did a stronger U.S. dollar. WTI light sweet crude oil fell 70 cents to $46.86 a barrel.
Closer to home, Singapore will release July data for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In June, imports were worth 36.43 billion SGD and exports were at 42.42 billion SGD for a trade surplus of 5.99 billion SGD.
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