(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market on Friday wrote a finish to the two-day losing streak in which it had slipped less than 3 points. The Straits Times Index closed just above the 3,370-point plateau, and now the market may be rangebound once again on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with soft economic data offsetting the possibility of additional stimulus in Europe. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed, and the Asian markets are expected to split the difference.
The STI finished slightly higher on Friday as gains from the plantation stocks and industrials were capped by mixed performances from the financials and properties.
For the day, the index added 5.44 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 3,370.59 after trading between 3,359.95 and 3,375.13. Volume was 1.07 billion shares worth 557 million Singapore dollars. There were 279 gainers and 154 decliners, with 508 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, City Developments added 0.29 percent, while CapitaLand shed 0.30 percent, DBS Group lost 0.49 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.38 percent, Wilmar International climbed 0.93 percent, Noble Group jumped 1.75 percent, Singapore Exchange fell 0.90 percent, SembCorp Marine advanced 0.92 percent and SIA tumbled 0.43 percent.
The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks fluctuated on Friday following the New Year’s Day holiday on Thursday, finally ending roughly flat – although many traders remained on the sidelines following the holiday, leading to light volume.
The Dow added 9.92 points or 0.1 percent to 17,832.99, while the NASDAQ dipped 9.24 points or 0.2 percent to 4,726.81 and the S&P 500 eased 0.70 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,058.20. For the week, the Dow tumbled 1.2 percent, while the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 dropped 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
There was also disappointing economic data, including a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing a significant slowdown in the pace of growth in the manufacturing sector in December. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed an unexpected drop in construction spending in November.
The disappointing data largely overshadowed comments from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi adding to speculation that the bank will provide further stimulus.
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