Trader works at DBS Group headquarters in Singapore. Reuters

Singapore stocks fell on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve set an October start for shrinking its balance sheet and maintained a forecast for another rate increase this year.

MSCI's broadest dollar-denominated index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4 percent, shrugging off slight gains on Wall Street.

As widely expected, the Fed said it would begin in October to trim its massive holding of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities acquired in the years after the 2008 financial crisis.

The Fed signalled it still expects one more interest rate hike by the end of the year, despite a recent bout of low inflation, but ratcheted down its long-term interest rate forecasts, Reuters reported.

At 0445 GMT, the Straits Times Index fell 0.21 percent or 7 points to 3,211. It ended 0.24 percent lower on Thursday, taking the year-to-date performance to about 12 percent.

Among the laggards, Jardine Matheson Holdings and Ascendas Real Estate
Investment Trust fell 2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Shares in taxi operator ComfortDelGro fell about 1 percent, its fourth straight decline after its unit SBS Transit lost the tender to operate the Thomson-East Coast line to competitor SMRT.

Shares in Raffles Education Corp, an operator of colleges and universities, slumped 8 percent. The company's said its chairman had been approached by various parties regarding his shareholding but no agreement has been reached.

Trading in CapitaLand Commercial Trust shares were suspended pending the release of an announcement.

But Great Eastern Holdings gained 1.4 percent after saying "it is assessing possible options" in reponse to media reports suggesting that the life insurance company is mulling to divest its stake in Malaysia operations.

About 879 million shares worth S$540 million changed hands, with losers outnumbering gainers 171 to 149.