SINGAPORE, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 5.25 percent lower on Monday, as investors dumped shares amid spreading of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. and Europe.
U.S. stocks climbed more than nine percent after the U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency last Friday, recouping most of their ten percent plunge the previous day. But the Federal Reserve unexpectedly slashed its key interest rate to near zero in an effort to contain the coronavirus impact on Sunday triggered investors' fear of the recession.
Chairman of the central bank Jerome Powell reiterated his opposition to negative interest rates in a conference call, indicating the U.S. is unlikely to follow counterparts in Japan and Europe in the future.
MayBank-Kim Eng Retail Research said "technically, we see a triple bottom support for the Straits Times Index at the 2,510 points and 2,530 points zone with first resistance at 2,750 points level."
DBS Group Research said immediate support for the Straits Times Index lies at 2,550, immediate resistance at 2,600 points and 2,640 points. If it hits 2008 global financial crisis stressed valuation levels, the index would be at 2,050 points and 2,150 points.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index plunged 138.23 points to 2,495.77 points. Trading volume was 2.16 billion shares worth 2.51 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 444 to 122.
SIIC Environment fell 4.26 percent to 22.5 Singapore cents. It completed the upgrading of Beiliu City Urban Water Treatment Plant Project Phase I. Plant commenced commercial operations with effect from December 30, 2019. Its subsidiary Heihe Heilongjiang Environmental Protection and Water Treatment Company also inked a new agreement to upgrade its facility to a higher discharge standard, and was awarded seven wastewater offshore and marine service projects over the next eight years.
In addition, another subsidiary Xinxiang Zhonghui Sludge Treatment Resources Utilization Company adjusted the sludge treatment fee of Xinxiang City Sludge Treatment and Disposal project from 219 Chinese yuan to 348.77 Chinese yuan per ton with effect from June 1, 2019.
Among top gainers, Memiontec rose 14.89 percent to 27 Singapore cents, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 6.98 percent to 49.33 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 7 Chinese yuan and 1.42 Singapore dollars)