Singapore shares drop as market awaits Fed decision

SINGAPORE - Uncertainty over about the United States central bank's take on its schedule for interest rate hikes led to a decline in the local stock market on Wednesday.

The Straits Times Index fell 8.2 points or 0.2 per cent to 3,361.75, its second straight day of losses.

Turnover stood at $1 billion with some one billion shares changing hands, lower than the $1.2 billion seen in the previous day.

Shares were lower for most of the day though they were range-bound, trading between a fall of 13 points and a rise of 4 points.

Investors chose to cash out and wait on the sidelines for a better view on when the US Federal Reserve may normalise its interest rates.

The Fed is due to release its monetary policy statement at on Thursday morning at 2am, Singapore time.

"People are reluctant to do anything until they see net volatility pass through the market," ANZ Bank analyst Sam Tuck told Bloomberg.

Most Asian bourses were higher, shrugging off the US interest rate hike concerns, with markets in Greater China still enjoying a rally thanks to a government pledge to do more to support its economy.

Tokyo added 0.6 per cent, Shanghai gained 1.6 per cent and Hong Kong rose 1.2 per cent, while Seoul was little changed.