STOCKS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Markets Briefing: STI down 0.84%

But expect some gains today.

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 24.78 points or 0.84% lower to 2913.08 on Monday, taking the year-to-date performance to +1.05%.

According to OCBC Investment Research, this came as U.S. stocks advanced tepidly on Monday with investors somewhat reluctant to make big bets in a preholiday week while the main benchmarks were sitting near all-time highs set last week.

Meanwhile, eight out of eleven S&P 500 industries ended higher, with Telecommunication Services (1.07%) leading the gains while Health Care (-0.51%) led the declines.

"The rebound on Wall Street overnight should bring some cheer to the local bourse today, but given the lack of strong catalyst, further upside is likely limited," the brokerage firm noted.

Here's more from OCBC:

Gold for Feb delivery rose US$5.30, or 0.47%, to close at US$1142.70/ounce while Mar Silver decreased by 13 cents, or 0.78%, to settle at US$16.09/ounce.

With the STI breaking its 2925 support level yesterday, we peg the new immediate support level at 2900, a break of which could send the index towards 2870. On the upside, we peg the initial hurdle at 2955, ahead of 2980.

Overall volume tumbled 19.5% with 1.9b units traded, and the total value dipped 32.4% to S$0.9b; while average value/unit fell 16.0% to S$0.47.

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