Singapore Market May Extend Wednesday's Gains

The Singapore stock market on Wednesday snapped the two-day losing streak in which it had tumbled almost 90 points or 2.9 percent. The Straits Times Index settled just below the 3,300-point plateau, and now the market is looking at additional support again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat thanks to solid economic data and a rebound in the price of oil. The European and U.S. markets ended higher, and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the plantation stocks and mixed performances from the financials and properties.

For the day, the index gained 16.41 points or 0.50 percent to finish at 3,298.36 after trading between 3,267.89 and 3,309.80. Volume was 1.86 billion shares worth 1.09 billion Singapore dollars. There were 217 gainers and 181 decliners, with 542 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, United Overseas Bank collected 0.51 percent, while DBS Group eased 0.15 percent, Singapore Exchange climbed 1.18 percent, City Developments shed 0.60 percent, Hongkong Land spiked 4.81 percent, Golden Agri-Resources jumped 1.11 percent, Genting Singapore dropped 0.97 percent and Thai Beverage surged 3.65 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Wednesday, regaining ground after weakness in the past few sessions. With the gains, the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 both snapped five-day losing streaks.

The Dow jumped 212.88 points or 1.2 percent to 17,584.52, while the NASDAQ soared 57.73 points or 1.3 percent to 4,650.47 and the S&P 500 surged 23.29 points or 1.2 percent to 2,025.90.

The strength followed a report from payroll processor ADP that showed stronger than expected private sector job growth in December. On Friday, the Labor Department will release its closely watched monthly employment report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.

Buying interest was also generated by a rebound by the price of crude oil, with crude for February delivery climbing $ 0.72 to $ 48.65 a barrel after tumbling to a new five-year low on Tuesday.

Traders also reacted positively to the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December monetary policy meeting – which suggested that a further deterioration in the foreign economic situation could result in slower domestic economic growth than expected.

by RTT Staff Writer

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