By V. Phani Kumar
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Singapore’s economy unexpectedly contracted 1.1% in the second quarter from the preceding three months due to weakness in the manufacturing sector and as weak stock trading activity contributed to a loss of momentum for the services sector. The seasonally-adjusted, annualized growth followed a strong 9.4% expansion in the first quarter. Manufacturing output shrank 6%, after soaring 20.9% in the January-March period. On a year-on-year basis, the southeast Asian economy grew 1.9% during the second quarter, accelerating from the 1.4% expansion recorded the first quarter, but still lagged behind the 2.4% increase estimated in a Dow Jones Newswires’ poll of economists. The Singapore currency weakened after the data, with the U.S. dollar USDSGD +0.1646% rising to 1.2714 Singapore dollars, from S$1.2697 late in North American trade Thursday.