Singapore shares closed 0.5 percent lower on Wednesday, as investors stayed sidelined after U. S. markets had closed slightly down.
Economic data from the U.S. were too mixed to offer any lead. A closely watched housing survey showed home prices rose slightly more than expected in December, but February consumer confidence fell short of expectations.
U.S. stocks lost some ground after a disappointing reading of consumer sentiment. In addition, markets were waiting for a statement from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Thursday.
The next major data point will be manufacturing data from China, with the official purchasing managers' index due on Saturday.
CIMB Research said "we expect at least a pullback to the 3,025 points and 3,068 points range. Sharply below that would likely mean that the larger downtrend has resumed."
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 15.37 points to close at 3,088.25 points. Trading volume was 1.91 billion shares worth 955 million Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 243 to 195, while 510 stocks closed unchanged.
Global Logistic Properties dropped 0.7 percent to 2.80 Singapore dollars. It has entered into a strategic alliance with Guangdong Holdings, a leading China state-owned company, to jointly develop logistics and industrial facilities in Dongguan, Southern China. Both parties will collaborate on Guangdong GDH Equipment Technology Industrial Park, the largest investment project in Dongguan.
Jaya Holdings rose 2 percent to 76.5 Singapore cents. It proposes sale of its operating businesses to Mermaid Marine Australia for 625 million Singapore dollars cash.
Pacific Radiance closed flat at 97 Singapore cents. It reports a good set full-year result as its net profit sailed past the 50 million U.S. dollars mark for the first time, to 56.8 million U.S. dollars, up 76 percent.
The Group sees strong profit contribution from sub-sea services. The timely fleet expansion sets the Group in prime position to ride rising exploration and production spending in key markets in Asia, Africa and South America.
Among the top gainers, UOL rose 1.3 percent to 6.10 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 0.8 percent to 55.50 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.26 Singapore dollars)