(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has tracked lower in back-to-back sessions, giving away almost 20 points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index settled just above the 3,325-point plateau, and the market may extend its losses on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets continues to be soft, thanks to disappointing economic data and earnings news – while tumbling oil prices also add downward pressure. The European and U.S. markets were down, and the Asian bourses are also called to open lower.

The STI finished modestly lower on Wednesday as losses from the financials and industrials were mitigated by support from the telecoms and a mixed bag from the plantations.

For the day, the index dipped 14.91 points or 0.45 percent to finish at 3,326.16 after trading between 3,326.12 and 3,349.19. Volume was 1.18 billion shares worth 1.13 billion Singapore dollars.

Among the actives, City Developments dropped 0.99 percent, while DBS Group shed 0.35 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation lost 1.53 percent, Wilmar International added 0.31 percent, Noble Group tumbled 1.46 percent, Singapore Exchange plunged 1.76 percent, SembCorp plummeted 1.20 percent and SingTel advanced 0.77 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks were notably lower on Wednesday, extending this week’s downward move.

The was down 189.59 points or 1.1 percent at 17,427.09, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ fell 22.18 points or 0.5 percent to 4,639.32 and the S&P 500 slid 11.76 points or 0.6 percent to 2,011.27.

The weakness followed a Commerce Department report showing a much steeper than expected drop in retail sales in December. The disappointing retail sales data came on the heels of news that the World Bank cut its forecast for global GDP growth in 2015.

Selling pressure was also generated in reaction to disappointing quarterly results from JP Morgan – which reported Q4 earnings that came in below estimates due in part to higher than expected legal expenses.

Stocks regained some ground in afternoon trading amid a jump in crude oil prices and the release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report – which said most Fed districts had “modest” or “moderate” economic growth in mid-November through late December.

Later today, Singapore will see November numbers for retail sales, with forecasts calling for a decline of 0.2 percent on month but an increase of 7.0 percent on year. That follows the 1.3 percent monthly decline and the 8.1 percent annual increase in October.

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