STOCKS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Markets Briefing: STI down 0.05%

But expect market to be cautious ahead of Fed’s interest-rate decision.

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 0.05 points lower to 2952.14 on Tuesday, taking the year-to-date performance to +2.41%.

According to OCBC Investment Research, this came as U.S. stocks set fresh records on Tuesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at a high for the seventh session in a row as it moved within 100 points of the 20,000 milestone ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision Wednesday.

The brokerage firm reported that nine out of eleven S&P 500 industries ended higher, led by Energy (1.27%) and Information Technology (1.23%) while Materials (-0.22%) and Industrials (-0.13%) lost ground.

"Despite the gains on Wall Street overnight, the local sentiment is likely to remain cautious ahead of Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision," OCBC said.

Here's more from OCBC:

Gold for Feb delivery lost US$6.80, or 0.58%, to close at US$1159.00/ounce while Mar Silver decreased by 21 cents, or 1.22%, to settle at US$16.98/ounce.

We expect the STI to remain largely range-bound for now. On the upside, we peg the initial hurdle at 2970, ahead of 3000; on the downside, we peg the immediate support at 2925, followed by its next support level at 2900.

Overall volume shrank 12.0% with 2.3b units traded, and the total value dipped 10.3% to S$1.1b; while average value/unit rose 1.9% to S$0.47. 

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