Singapore shares closed 0.09 percent lower Tuesday, following overnight weakness in Wall Street after disappointing U.S. services sector data raised concerns about stuttering growth in the world's largest economy.
Data from the Institute for Supply Management showed the pace of growth in the U.S. services sector slowed for a second straight month in December with business activity expanding at a slower rate and new orders contracting.
All eyes in the market will be on this Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls data, which will provide new clues on how well the U.S. economy is recovering and how fast the Federal Reserve might unwind its stimulus program, and how long it will keep its interest rates low.
Phillip Securities Research said "the next resistance is at 3, 170 points, and a short term consolidation is likely at these levels."
The benchmark Straits Times Index inched down 2.94 points to close at 3,120.88. Trading volume was 3.87 billion shares worth 1. 17 billion Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 232 to 193, while 520 stocks closed unchanged.
Midas Holdings rose 2 percent to 51.5 Singapore cents. Its joint venture unit kicks off 2014 with orders worth 1.11 billion Chinese yuan. The first contract worth 520 million Chinese yuan is to supply 85 train cars for the Suzhou Rail Transit Line 2 Extension. The second contract worth 590 million Chinese yuan is to supply 78 additional train cars for Nanjing Metro Line 1.
ST Engineering closed flat at 3.88 Singapore dollars. It announced that its marine arm ST Marine has secured new orders worth about 446 million U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Global Logistic Properties dropped 1 percent to 2.86 Singapore dollars. It has leased 106,000 square meters to Riachuelo at GLP Guarulhos in Sao Paulo. The customer is the largest fashion retail company in Brazil. This is Global Logistic Properties' largest lease agreement in Brazil GLP Guarulhos, a 435,000 square-meter development to be developed in phases, is currently fully leased.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 1.3 percent to 53. 02 U.S. dollars, while UOB became one of the top losers by falling 0.6 percent to 20.72 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 6. 051 Chinese yuan and 1.27 Singapore dollars)