SINGAPORE, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.27 percent lower on Monday, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stopped short of giving any clear direction about an imminent move for further stimulus, prompting investors to look for clues in upcoming data.
Bernanke, speaking at the Kansas City Fed's annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, said the Fed had to weigh the costs and the benefits of further stimulus, but he downplayed potential risks from the unconventional policies, arguing the Fed's asset purchases, known as quantitative easing, had been quite effective at boosting growth and fostering job creation.
His comments heightened market focus on U.S. data due this week including the ISM manufacturing on Tuesday and the monthly jobs report on Sept. 7 ahead of the Fed's Sept. 12 to 13 policy meeting.
Meanwhile, China's official factory purchasing managers' index on Saturday showed a drop below 50 for the first time since November 2011, in the latest signal that the world's second- biggest economy is struggling against global headwinds and the case for further stimulus is strengthening.
CIMB Research said "the US (economic) numbers are not looking as bad as feared, but numbers in Asia indicate a further slowdown, which may push Bernanke to do more for the US economy."
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 8.24 points to close at 3,017.22 points. Trading volume was 929.1 million shares worth 704. 1 million Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 213 to 202, while 543 stocks closed unchanged.
Keppel Corporation dropped 0.4 percent to 11.15 Singapore dollars. The world's largest oil rig builder said a consortium consisted of its unit Keppel Seghers Belgium NV won a waste-to- energy project in Bialystok, Poland worth around 100 million U.S. dollars. The Keppel unit will execute 49.6 percent of the project work scope.
CapitaLand inched 0.3 percent lower to 3 Singapore dollars. The Southeast Asia's largest property developer said it will launch Raffles City Chengdu, a mixed development in China comprising a shopping mall, office towers, a hotel, serviced residences and apartments.
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation shed 0.5 percent to 9.24 Singapore dollars. It announced it has doubled the size of its global medium-term note program to 10 billion dollars.
Among the top gainers, Great Eastern Holdings rose 3 percent to 14.25 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Cycle and Carriage became one of the top losers by falling 1.1 percent to 45.80 Singapore dollars (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.25 Singapore dollars)