Singapore shares dip on Friday ahead of release of US jobs data

SINGAPORE shares slipped on Friday amid some caution over upcoming jobs numbers from the United States.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) was down 1.54 points or 0.05 per cent to 3,143.87.

December jobless data from the world's largest economy were due out after Asian markets closed, and many investors kept to the sidelines ahead of the announcement.

The muted response meant only two stocks of the STI's 30 moved 1 per cent or more in either direction.

Shares of Genting Singapore, which operates the Resorts World Sentosa integrated resort, fell 1.5 cents or 1 per cent to $1.485. Property developer Hongkong Land Holdings saw its shares rise nine US cents or 1.46 per cent to US$6.25 as it extended its winning streak to five days.

"Initial and continuing jobless claims were released (on Thursday) but both did little to whet the appetite of investors as market participants remained cautious ahead of today's unemployment report," said a note by Phillip Futures.

"Analysts are expecting a jobless rate of 7 per cent and change in US nonfarm payrolls of 193,000. Better-than-expected figures should send the dollar rallying on speculation that the US Federal Reserve may heed these positive releases as warrants to execute accelerated tapering," it added.