Singapore shares stay flat as investors await US jobs data for the week

Shares were flat as investors adopted a wait-and-see approach at the start of a new trading quarter. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Shares were flat as investors adopted a wait-and-see approach at the start of a new trading quarter. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Shares were flat as investors adopted a wait-and-see approach at the start of a new trading quarter.

The Straits Times Index ended up 0.01 point at 3,447.02 on Wednesday.

The general lack of interest was reflected in the turnover, which stood at $945.5 million with 1.23 billion shares changing hands, compared with the 1.4 billion shares worth $1.4 billion traded on the previous day.

Investors waited on the sidelines amid the uncertainties ahead, as the United States is slated to release its crucial non-farm payrolls data for March on Friday, which could give clues on the pace of future interest rate hikes.

Uncertainty about other global events, including the ongoing Greek debt crisis where the anti-austerity government is still trying to hammer out a deal with international creditors, has also put investors off.

"This is going to be a tougher quarter and you can expect higher volatility," Mr Nader Naeimi, the head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors, told Bloomberg.

Asian bourses had a mixed outing.

Tokyo tumbled 0.9 per cent and Seoul surrendered 0.6 per cent after a poor showing overnight from Wall Street where the Dow dropped 1.1 per cent and the S&P 500 succumbed to a 0.9 per cent fall.

Japanese stocks were also hurt by a lower-than-expected reading in a business confidence survey.

Markets in Greater China fared much better as Shanghai soared 1.7 per cent while Hong Kong was 0.7 per cent higher after China's manufacturing data rebounded into positive territory for March.