Singapore shares suffer from Thursday's sharp selldown on Wall Street

THURSDAY'S tumble on Wall Street dragged down the Singapore market on Friday, and it closed the session just below a key support level.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) dropped 23.39 points or 0.73 per cent to 3,197.53 points. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average in New York had tumbled 226 points, or 1.47 per cent to 15,112.19 - the second straight session where it had lost more than 100 points.

A drop in weekly jobless claims on Thursday led to fears that the United States central bank would scale back its money-printing programme as early as September. So, when strong economic data would ordinarily boost stock markets, it has in many recent occasions led to sharp falls in global bourses.

The STI in Singapore closed just below 3,200 points on Friday. Some chart-watchers consider that a key support level, which means the STI is likely to slide further if it drops convincingly below this point. But the index could well bounce back above this on Monday, meaning there is not much to worry about for now.

Across the market, decliners outnumbered gainers 229 to 176 on Friday.

Soilbuild Business Space Reit, which started trading at 2pm, had a disappointing debut. The debutante closed at 71.5 cents, 8 per cent below the initial public offering price of 78 cents.