(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has finished higher now in three straight sessions, advancing nearly 55 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index settled just below the 3,355-point plateau, and the market draws another firm open again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets continues to be positive on optimism about the monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank later today – which is expected to unveil additional stimulus. The European and U.S. markets ended in the green, and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The STI finished modestly higher on Wednesday as gains from the financials were capped by weakness from the plantations and a mixed bag from the properties.

For the day, the index gained 20.44 points or 0.61 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,354.46 after trading as low as 3,331.27. Volume was 2 billion shares worth 1.11 billion Singapore dollars. There were 248 gainers and 183 decliners, with 509 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, City Developments shed 0.39 percent, while CapitaLand jumped 1.89 percent, Golden Agri-Resources plunged 2.30 percent, Noble Group lost 1.01 percent, Genting Singapore added 0.99 percent, DBS Group collected 0.40 percent, United Overseas Bank gained 0.56 percent and Singapore Exchange climbed 1.54 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks fluctuated on Wednesday but managed to finish higher – ending in positive territory for the third consecutive session.

The Dow edged up 39.05 points or 0.2 percent at 17,554.28, while the NASDAQ rose 12.58 points or 0.3 percent to 4,667.42 and the S&P 500 climbed 9.57 points or 0.5 percent to 2,032.12.

Ahead of the ECB meeting, the bank’s executive board has proposed purchasing 50 billion euros worth of bonds per month until the end of 2016.

An increase by the price of crude oil also generated some buying interest, as crude for March delivery ended the day up $ 1.31 at $ 47.78 a barrel after tumbling $ 2.66 to $ 46.47 a barrel on Tuesday.

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