Singapore shares fall again, but late afternoon rebound reduces declines

THE local market on Thursday endured a sixth straight day of losses, but it could have been much worse.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) was down as much as 1.7 per cent during the session, but a positive start in European bourses dragged up the index.

The STI closed at 3,089.4 points, down just 19.59 points or 0.63 per cent from Wednesday's close.

The late afternoon rebound took the index back within touching distance of the psychological 3,100 level. It could find some stability if it does not fall too far below that.

Still the six-session losing streak is the longest stretch of consecutive declines since November last year.

Investors in the region have been spooked amid signs the massive money-printing programme of the United States Federal Reserve could slow down, perhaps as soon as next month.

Among commodity players, Noble Group recovered from early losses to inch up 0.5 cent or 0.6 per cent to 81.5 cents. Wilmar International also recovered from intra-day declines to close up four cents or 1.3 per cent to $3.10.

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