Soft Start Seen For Singapore Stock Market

(RTTNews) - The Singapore stock market on Friday ended a three-day winning streak in which it had gained nearly 50 points or 1.6 percent. The Straits Times Index is now just above the 3,170 plateau and is expected to reopen under pressure on Monday.

The global forecast for Asian markets is one of caution ahead of the FOMC meeting later this week. European markets were mixed and flat and US stocks fell and Asian markets are supposed to split the difference.

The STI closed slightly lower on Friday following losses from the industrial sector and mixed results from financial stocks and real estate.

During the day, the index lost 13.44 points or 0.42 percent to end at 3,172.96 after trading between 3,155.31 and 3,180.52.

Among assets, Ascendas REIT fell 1.48 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust declined 1.54 percent, CapitaLand Investment fell 2.20 percent, City Developments weakened 1.34 percent, Comfort DelGro rallied 1.46 percent, DBS Group rose 0.14 percent, Emperador plummeted 6.98 percent, Genting Singapore. fell 1.67 percent, Hongkong Land added 0.62 percent, Keppel DC REIT fell 1.18 percent, Keppel Ltd fell 0.14 percent, Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust lost 2.29 percent percent, Mapletree Industrial Trust lost 0.87 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust stumbled 2.04 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.15 percent, SATS and SembCorp Industries lost 0.39 percent, Seatrium Limited plunged 3.26 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering fell 1.01 percent, Thai Beverage sank 0.99 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding plunged 2.86 percent and Wilmar International, Yangzijiang Financial and SingTel they remained unchanged.

Wall Street's upside is negative as the major averages opened lower on Friday and remained underwater throughout the trading day.

The Dow Jones fell 190.89 points or 0.49 percent to finish at 38,714.77, while the Nasdaq fell 155.36 points or 0.96 percent to close at 15,973.17 and the S&P 500 sank 33, 39 points or 0.65 percent to close at 5,117.09. For the week, the NASDAQ fell 0.7 percent, the S&P gave up 0.1 percent and the Dow Jones was nearly flat.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected concerns about the outlook for interest rates ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting later this week.

While the Federal Reserve is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will look to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for rates. Recent better-than-expected inflation readings have reduced optimism that the Federal Reserve's first rate cut could occur in June.

In economic news, the Labor Department said U.S. import prices rose in line with estimates in February, while export prices beat expectations. The Federal Reserve also noted a slight increase in US industrial production in February.

Oil prices fell on Friday, moving away from multi-month highs, largely due to profit-taking following recent strong gains. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for April ended down $0.22 at $81.04 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will release February data on domestic non-oil exports this morning; In January, exports increased 2.3 percent month-on-month and 16.8 percent year-on-year.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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