Singapore shares closed 0.52 percent lower on Thursday, as China's industrial output and retail sales data fell short of market expectation.
China's industrial output during the January to February period rose 8.6 percent on year, almost a full percentage point below what market was expecting. Retail sales were also short of estimates, rising 11.8 percent versus the 13.5 percent rise foreseen. The latest data raised concern over the economic outlook for the world's second-largest economy. Meanwhile, a flat close on Wall Street overnight as well as diplomatic stalemate between Russia and the West over Ukraine also did not help market sentiment either.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 16.04 points to close at 3,081.39 points. Trading volume was 2 billion shares worth 1.08 billion Singapore dollars. Advancers slightly outnumbered decliners 212 to 200, while 540 stocks closed unchanged.
DBS Group Research said "the index pullback off 3,145 points on Wednesday with a 'gap down' between 3,115 points and 3,125 points underpins our view that near-term upside through March should be capped at 3,145 points with pullback support at 3,000 points and 3, 050 points."
Singapore Telecommunications fell 0.6 percent to 3.55 Singapore dollars. It has secured exclusive rights to air football world cup 2014 which will be cross-carried to StarHub as per Singapore regulations. The bid price is speculated to be between 25 million Singapore dollars and 30 million Singapore dollars, up between 30 percent and 50 percent than the previous world cup price.
Polaris closed flat at 1.4 Singapore cents. It had obtained a distributorship for Huawei mobile devices. Going forward, the revenue of Polaris is expected increase with the addition of a comprehensive range of Huawei mobile devices
Metax Engineering jumped 42.9 percent to 5 Singapore cents. It has been awarded a total of approximately 33 million Singapore dollars worth of palm oil bio-refining and bio-energy engineering projects in Malaysia and Thailand. The addition of these projects brings the Group's current order book to 60 million Singapore dollars to date, which is expected to be realized in the next 24 months.
Among the top gainers, City Development Limited rose 1.2 percent to 9.45 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 0.9 percent to 58.48 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 1.26 Singapore dollars