STOCKS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Markets Briefing: STI down 0.68%

Expect more losses two days before Christmas.

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 19.66 points or 0.68% lower to 2882.04 on Thursday, taking the year-to-date performance to -0.02%.

According to OCBC Investment Research, this came as U.S. stocks ended thinly-traded preholiday session with modest losses as investors seemed reluctant to bid up prices of indexes that are already hovering near all-time highs.

Meanwhile, seven out of eleven S&P 500 industries ended lower, with Consumer Discretionary (-1.01%) leading the declines while Telecommunication Services (1.02%) led the gains.

"The continued weakness on Wall Street overnight could weigh further on local sentiment. We could see the STI adding further to its 0.7% loss yesterday," OCBC noted.

Here's more from the brokerage firm:

Gold for Feb delivery fell US$2.50, or 0.22%, to close at US$1130.70/ounce while Mar Silver decreased by 11 cents, or 0.68%, to settle at US$15.88/ounce.

On the upside, we peg the new hurdle at 2900, followed by the 2935 next resistance level. On the downside, 2870 is the immediate support level, ahead of 2850.

Overall volume tumbled further yesterday, dropping 6.7% to 1.3b units traded, and the total value dipped 3.5% to S$0.7b, while average value/unit rose 3.4% to S$0.58.

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