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Singapore shares open lower on Wall St and Yellen's hint at Dec rate hike

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SINGAPORE shares traded lower on Thursday, as US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's comment that a December interest-rate hike remains a "live possibility" continued to sap trading.

At 09:04am, the blue-chip Straits Times Index was trading at 3,022.76, down 0.58 per cent or 17.72 points, as DBS, Singtel and UOB headed south following a weaker Wall Street close overnight.

About 49.5 million shares valued at S$87.1 million were traded. Losers outpaced gainers 79 to 43.

Ms Yellen, speaking before the House Financial Services Committee, said an improving economy has set the stage for a December interest-rate increase, though she cautioned that no decision has yet been made on the timing of a rate increase.

According to Bloomberg, traders now price in a 58 per cent chance the US central bank will increase rates at its December meeting, up from 50 per cent the previous day and 34 per cent last week before its October gathering.