Singapore Markets close in 7 hrs 36 mins

US stocks open lower but GM surges on good outlook

Wall Street stocks declined in early trading on Friday following tepid US inflation data, while General Motors surged on a strong profit forecast.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 23,875.88, down 0.5 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 and tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also shed 0.5 percent, with the former at 2,583.66 and the latter at 6,951.19.

The Consumer Price Index, which tracks costs for household goods and services, fell by 0.1 percent last month from November, the first decline since March, as falling fuel prices masked steady gains in food and shelter costs.

The new figures confirm the view of Federal Reserve bankers that they can hold off on raising interest rates again any time soon in the absence of inflation pressure.

US stocks have risen the last five sessions on dovish reassurances from Fed officials and hopes over US-China trade talks will yield a deal. Still, some analysts say stocks could be primed to retreat after the strong run due to technical factors.

Among individual companies, General Motors surged 7.0 percent after forecasting better-than-expected profits for 2018 and 2019 following job cuts announced in December.