Singapore shares closed 0.74 percent lower on Friday, as investors shrugged off lackluster U.S. data that were supposed to ease concerns about an early end to the Federal Reserve's strong stimulus program.
U.S. gross domestic product grew a slightly less-than-expected annualized 2.4 percent in the first quarter, new jobless benefits claims rose in the latest week, and pending home sales grew far less than expected in April, pointing to a fragile economy which still requires support from monetary policy.
SIAS Research said "we could see the index initiate a rebound to retest the 3,370 points resistance level, with support established at 3,300 points psychological level."
OCBC Investment Research said the selling might be a reflection of portfolio managers adjusting their positions to reflect the half-yearly rebalancing of Morgan Stanley Composite indexes, which takes effect Friday.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 24.64 points to close 3, 311.37 points. Trading volume was 3.34 billion shares worth 3.55 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 279 to 174, while 494 stocks closed unchanged.
Singapore Airlines fell 0.9 percent to 10.74 Singapore dollars. It agreed to spend 17 billion U.S. dollars to buy 30 Airbus and 30 Boeing aircraft, underscoring the airline's bet on a pick-up in the struggling premium class market.
DBS gained 1.1 percent to 17.16 Singapore dollars. Moody's Investors Service has assigned an Aa1 rating to DBS Bank's 500 million Chinese yuan three-year senior unsecured bond, with a negative outlook.
Mapletree Logistics Trust inched up 1.3 percent to 1.21 Singapore dollars. It issued 4.1 million new units at 1.2811 Singapore dollars per unit to eligible unit-holders who have elected to participate in the Distribution Reinvestment Plan. The new units will start trading on May 31.
SembCorp Marine lost 0.7 percent to 4.34 Singapore dollars. The world's second largest builder of offshore oil rigs, has secured a 220.5 million U.S. dollars contract to build a jack-up drilling rig from BOT Lease Co Limited, scheduled for delivery at the end of January 2015.
Among the top gainers, UOB rose 1 percent to 21.42 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 1.3 percent to 65.70 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 6. 138 Chinese yuan and 1.26 Singapore dollars)