Singapore bourse starts week on listless note

A listless start to the trading week led the benchmark Straits Times Index to fall by 8.38 points or 0.3 per cent to 3,135.49.

A positive closing in Wall Street last Friday failed to lift investor sentiment as a recent worst-than-expected jobs report out of the United States raised doubts on the Federal Reserve's resolve to taper its bond buying plan.

Elsewhere, Asian markets closed mixed with Japan's Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rising 0.2 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.2 per cent while Australia's ASX 200 slipped 0.4 per cent.

Analysts blamed the weak US jobs report on the weather - the US faced unusual chills in December following the Polar Vortex which led to disruption of services. Economic data in January is not expected to fare any better for the same reason.

"With doubts surrounding the health of the economy and the Fed's (Federal Reserve) decision to taper still lingering, the latest developments may have stuck a spanner in taper works at the next FOMC meeting on January 29," said CMC Markets analyst Mr Desmond Chua.

On the local bourse, losers led gainers 235 to 144 while 409 counters were unchanged. Some 3.38 billion shares worth $785.6 million were done.