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Singapore stocks finish weaker in response to Wall Street's Wednesday reversal

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THE Straits Times Index on Thursday slipped 0.96 of a point to 3,175.59 in weak trading following the sudden jitters on Wall Street on Wednesday when the Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed a 200-point rise to close in the red.

That dramatic reversal was attributed to two developments - US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan saying that tax reform would be harder than healthcare reform, and release of the Federal Reserve's March Open Markets Committee meeting which suggested three rate hikes may occur in 2017 instead of the anticipated two.

Trading here was relatively subdued as a result of Wall Street's uncertain performance. The Dow futures slipping marginally into the red also kept traders at bay. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index finished with a 0.5 per cent loss.

Turnover amounted to low 3.1 billion units units worth S$1.03 billion and excluding warrants there were 160 rises versus 325 falls.

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