Singapore shares closed 0.3 percent lower on Monday, as risk-averse investors continued to worry over the stimulus cut in the United States and a slowdown in China.
U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein suggested Last Friday that September could be an opportune time for Federal Reserve to consider scaling back its massive asset-purchase program.
Investors will closely watch the U.S. jobs data due on Friday, given it is a key measures the Federal Reserve will consider before deciding to start withdrawing stimulus.
Meanwhile, the HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index for June in China retreated to 48.2, the lowest level since September 2012 and down from May's final reading of 49.2. A separate Purchasing Managers' Index survey released by China's government statistics office earlier on Monday was less dour. Its index slipped to 50.1 in June from 50.8 in May, but came in above the median market forecast of 50.0.
Phillip Securities Research said "as long as the Straits Times Index does not decisively clear above the 3,230 points resistance level, downward bias will still likely persist with 3,100 points as near-tern support, followed by 3,000 points as the psychological support."
The benchmark Straits Times Index shed 9.51 points to close 3, 140.93 points. Trading volume was 2.04 billion shares worth 1.05 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 222 to 202, while 524 stocks closed unchanged.
Keppel Corporation rose 0.5 percent to 10.45 Singapore dollars. The conglomerate said its subsidiary, Devan International Limited, had obtained a call option to acquire an additional 16 percent stake in KrisEnergy Limited from KrisEnergy Holdings Limited. In view of a potential initial public offering of KrisEnergy, Devan and the seller of the stake had agreed to amend the exercise price of the call option. If certain conditions are met, the maximum consideration for exercising the call option would be around 122.7 million U.S. dollars.
SembCorp Marine gained 0.2 percent to 4.33 Singapore dollars. The Singapore oil rig builder said it had secured two more jack-up rig orders worth a total of 417 million U.S. dollars from Mexican company Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro, S.A.P.I. de C.V.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 1.9 percent to 43.32 Singapore dollars, while UOB became one of the top losers by falling 1.2 percent to 19.62 Singapore dollars. (1 U. S. dollar equals to 1.27 Singapore dollars)