SINGAPORE, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.1 percent lower on Wednesday, as concerns about a possible U.S. government shutdown and uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve 's policy outlook made investors hesitant to take aggressive positions.
U.S. economic data on Tuesday was mixed. U.S. home prices gained in July, but consumer confidence slipped in September. Meanwhile, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley defended the central bank's surprise decision last week to refrain from tapering its stimulus because the U.S. economy was weaker than the Fed thought in June. Dudley, a known dove, said he "would not rule out" a stimulus reduction later this year.
OCBC Investment Research said "markets are also gearing for a storm brewing over the U.S. federal budget amid concerns that the government may shut down on October 1." The research house expects range-bound trade on the Straits Times Index, within a 3,200 points and 3,230 points band.
CIMB Research said "moving back up to fill up the 3,219 points and 3,237 points gap would likely signal that the index would nudge higher above 3,265 points", whereas "closing below the 3,193 points and 3,255 points is near term negative for Straits Times Index."
Voyager Research said "we could see the index continuing its slide towards the 3,200 points support with resistance pegged at 3, 230 points."
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index shed 3.17 points to 3, 193.85 points. Trading volume was 9.09 billion shares worth 1.46 billion Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 290 to 184, while 483 stocks did not move.
EMS Energy soared 30.1 percent to 9.5 Singapore cents. It has secured from its major shareholder, Koastal Industries, a contract worth 36 million U.S. dollars to build a Derrick Equipment Set ( DES), complete with full drilling equipment, for an offshore tender assisted drilling rig, commonly known as tender rig, and expects to secure two more DES of similar value over the next few months.
ISDN Holdings shed 1.3 percent to 1.165 Singapore dollars. It has acquired 80 percent stakes in two more Indonesian hydropower- related businesses for a total of 1.9 million U.S. dollars. The acquisitions, funded by the company's reserves, are the latest in a string of purchases made by ISDN to expand in Indonesia's hydropower production sector.
Among top gainers, Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 0.8 percent to 37 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 2 percent to 55.50 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.25 Singapore dollars)