Singapore shares finish flat as investors await end of US Fed meeting

The Singapore market traded largely flat throughout Wednesday as investors waited with bated breath to see if the party of cheap money will continue.

The Straits Times Index (STI) slipped 5.79 points or 0.19 per cent to close at 3,061.78.

An ongoing meeting of the United States Federal Reserve was expected to release its outcome before Asian markets opened on Thursday. The key question is whether the central bank will scale back its massive US$85 billion per month bond purchase programme.

The scheme, which amounts to printing money, has boosted stock prices worldwide so any reduction is expected to lead to a deflation in share values.

The cautious mood meant that only four out of the 30 STI component stocks moved more than 1 per cent in either direction.

Rigbuilder Keppel Corp was one of those that showed more action: the stock lost 25 cents or 2.3 per cent to $10.56, more than reversing a rise of 19 cents on Tuesday.