Singapore shares closed 0.24 percent lower on Thursday as investors shrugged off strong performance at the Wall Street and instead worried that a strong greenback will weigh on profits in U.S. companies that do significant business overseas.
U.S. stocks rose overnight, mainly led by a surge in energy stocks as crude oil climbed to a year-to-date high, while Intel Corporation rallied after its earnings beat market forecast.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index fell 8.34 points to 3, 531.61 points, after opening this morning at a seven-year high of 3,548.85 points. Trading volume was 2.57 billion shares worth 1.47 billion Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 266 to 203, while 467 stocks did not move.
Singapore Exchange Limited fell 1.6 percent to 8.45 Singapore dollars. The bourse operator said it is not in the process of establishing a stock trading link with the Chinese stock market, but remains open to future collaborations which benefit its partners and shareholders.
There has been speculation that Singapore's stock market could be linked to that in China, fashioned after the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme to allow cross-border investment in stock markets.
SMRT Corporation Limited jumped 3.4 percent to 1.685 Singapore dollars. It entered into an agreement with OMGTEL Privated Limited to work exclusively with OMGTEL in connection with bid for fourth wireless telecommunications carrier license in Singapore. It also offered an opportunity to invest up to 34.5 million Singapore dollars via an option to subscribe for shares in OMGTEL.
Among top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 0.4 percent to 62.62 U. S. dollars, while Jardine Cycle and Carriage became one of the top losers by falling 0.6 percent to 42.60 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.35 Singapore dollars)