Singapore shares closed 0.45 percent lower on Monday, as risk-averse investors continued to worry over the stimulus cut in the United States.
U.S. job creation accelerated in June, signaling growth in the world's largest economy is gathering momentum. U.S. employers added 195,000 new jobs to their payrolls last month, beating expectations of 165,000. Adding to the positive sentiment, the figures for April and May were revised up by a combined 70,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent as more people entered the workforce.
However, the stronger-than-expected jobs growth fueled worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin scaling back its 85 billion U.S. dollars a month bond-buying program in coming months.
DBS Group Research said "we see the recent correction of the Straits Times Index shifting into a choppy range from 3,065 points to 3,220 points in the weeks ahead as it enters the second-quarter results season."
SIAS Research said the index is expected to inch higher in the direction of the 3,200 points psychological resistance level, with support established at 3,150 points.
CIMB Research said if the 3,065 points low is taken out, the local bourse may weaken further to try to fill up 3,045 points and 3,069 points gap or even the 2,989 points and 3,001 points gaps.
The benchmark Straits Times Index shed 14.26 points to close 3, 155.47 points. Trading volume was 2 billion shares worth 1 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 292 to 121, while 535 stocks closed unchanged.
Singapore Technologies Engineering fell 1 percent to 4.01 Singapore dollars. It said its electronics arm, Singapore Technologies Electronics, had won about 206.8 million Singapore dollars worth of contracts for rail electronics, satellite communications and communications projects in the second quarter of 2013.
Wilmar International dropped 1 percent to 3.11 Singapore dollars. It and Swiss chemicals firm Clariant said they received merger clearances to set up their joint venture for amines, commonly used in dyes and drugs.
Viz Branz Limited jumped 9.1 percent to 78 Singapore cents. The managing director of the company is seeking to acquire all the shares of the instant beverage maker via a mandatory unconditional cash offer of 78 Singapore cents per share through his special purpose vehicle.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Strategic rose 0.5 percent to 37 U.S. dollars, while UOB became one of the top losers by falling 1. 4 percent to 20.05 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1. 28 Singapore dollars)