Straits Times Index dips 0.17% on US GDP surprise

SINGAPORE shares today saw a tepid end to the first trading month of 2013, dampened somewhat by downbeat United States economic growth data.

The benchmark Straits Times Index dipped 5.51 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 3,280.39.

Some 3.8 billion shares worth $2 billion changed hands.

Despite the dip, it was still a month to remember as the STI surged 3.65 per cent for the whole of January.

The opening bell was greeted by a bearish mood, following an unexpected contraction in the US economy.

The world's largest economy shrank in the fourth quarter for the first time since mid-2009, surprising the experts who had tipped an expansion.

Key regional markets finished mixed, with Japan up 0.22 per cent and Shanghai 0.12 per cent in front. But Hong Kong closed 0.39 per cent behind and South Korea dipped 0.13 per cent.

Back home, the 30 STI component stocks ended mainly lower, with 17 losers, 10 gainers and three unchanged.

The day's most active counter was Ipco International, which ended 0.1 cent lower at 2.4 cents with 377.4 million units traded.