Singapore shares end the week in the red on Fed rate hike comments

Local shares ended the week on a sour note, after a United States Federal Reserve official said the US may raise interest rates by March. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Local shares ended the week on a sour note, after a United States Federal Reserve official said the US may raise interest rates by March. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Local shares ended the week on a sour note, after a United States Federal Reserve official said the US may raise interest rates by March.

The benchmark Straits Times Index slipped 7.52 points, or 0.23 per cent, to close at 3,271.05.

Trading was relatively thin, with 1.54 billion shares worth $673.3 million changing hands.

There were 182 gainers, versus 188 losers and 435 unchanged.

Mr James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, had suggested in an interview on Thursday night that higher interest rates might happen sooner than people thought, perhaps within the first quarter of next year.

Polaris was the top traded stock, rising 0.4 cents to 2.2 cents. The firm, a distributor and retailer of mobile phones and consumer electronics, had said on Tuesday that it is in talks to buy a company in South-east Asia.

Many other regional bourses also ended in the red, with Seoul down 0.3 per cent, Sydney losing 0.4 per cent and Shanghai slipping 0.1 per cent. Hong Kong, however, rose 0.1 per cent.