SINGAPORE, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.59 percent lower on Thursday, after China lowered its economic growth forecast for the year.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China aimed for about 7 percent economic growth after an expansion of 7.4 percent last year, the slowest pace in more than two decades. The fresh target this year came amid sluggish domestic demand and a slow recovery in the global economy. China had targeted about 7.5 percent growth for last year.
Market sentiment was also affected by overnight performance of U.S. stocks. The benchmark Dow Jones industrial Average fell for the second session in a row, sending the index to its lowest level in nearly two weeks.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 20.26 points to close at 3,395.27 points. Trading volume was 1.24 billion shares worth 934 million Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 225 to 188, while 520 stocks closed unchanged.
Civmec Limited rose 0.8 percent to 65.5 Singapore cents. It has been awarded a significant contract for fabrication and site erection of steelwork for the new Perth Stadium in Australia. The contract commences immediately and is expected to be completed in approximately 18 months. Civmec's current order book is approximately 237 million Singapore dollars.
JES International remained trading halt on Thursday. It said it has terminated plans to acquire a 51 percent stake in Scibois, which owns a timber extraction business in Congo of Africa. It also revealed plans for restructuring the debt and liabilities of its subsidiary. In light of the proposed restructuring, JES has terminated a proposed placement of 183 million new shares, upon mutual agreement with the subscribers.
Among the top gainers, Sarine Technologies rose 2.6 percent to 2.81 Singapore dollars, whereas Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 1.7 percent to 64.54 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.37 Singapore dollars)