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Singapore shares open 12.2 points down on Thursday

25178423.13 (37653108) - 05_03_2016 - pixmoney.jpg

SINGAPORE shares opened lower on Thursday as investors reacted to news of the US Federal Reserve's hint that it will increase the pace of tightening in 2017.

Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index fell 12.22 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 2,941.84. Losers beat gainers 105 to 36, or about three down for every one up. Some 93.4 million shares worth S$77.7 million changed hands.

Shares of telecommunication companies, fresh from news of a fourth operator entering Singapore's market, and banks were among the biggest losers as at 9.02am.

The early drop in the STI echoed Asian markets elsewhere. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.7 per cent in early morning trade, Reuters reported. This came after the Fed rose rates by 25 basis points.

But what spooked investors more was that the Fed said it now thinks three increases in 2017 are likely, compared to two increases mentioned in September.

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