Singapore shares closed 1.17 percent lower on Monday, dragged down by concerns about the possibility of a U.S. rate hike in September.
During the weekend central bank' conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said recent volatility in global markets could ease and possibly pave the way for a rate hike. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard also said he still favored hiking rates next month, though he added that his colleagues would be hesitant to do so if global markets continued to be volatile into mid-September.
DBS Group Research said the comments at the Jackson Hole meeting by the Federal Reserve vice chairman that inflation is poised to move upward had raised the odds that the United States might start to raise rates in September.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index fell 34.5 points to 2, 921.44 points. Trading volume was 1.31 billion shares worth 1.36 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 270 to 178, while 495 stocks did not move.
Keppel Corporation shed 2.8 percent to 6.84 Singapore dollars. It announced that it entered into a stock and asset purchase agreement with Cameron International Corporation to acquire Cameron's offshore rigs business for 100 million U.S. dollars. The acquisition will add to Keppel's offerings in the jack-up rig market and enhance its capabilities through the upstream integration into rig kit business as well as aftermarket services.
Olam International closed flat at 2.07 Singapore dollars. It has announced a strategic partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation. This will involve Olam issuing 332.73 million new shares or around 12 percent of the enlarged share capital to Mitsubishi at 2.75 Singapore dollars per share, which is at a 44 percent premium to the pre-announcement closing price of 1.91 Singapore dollars.
Among top gainers, Great Eastern Holdings rose 1.1 percent to 20.81 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 1.6 percent to 49.94 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.41 Singapore dollars)