(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market on Thursday snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 20 points or 0.55 percent. The Straits Times Index remained just below the 3,420-point plateau, although the market is looking at a higher open on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive, thanks mainly to upbeat economic news from the United States. The European and U.S. markets ended firmly higher, and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that lead.
The STI finished barely lower on Thursday as losses from the plantations, properties and financials were mitigated by support from the industrials and telecoms.
For the day, the index eased 0.10 points or 0.00 percent to finish at 3,419.05 after trading between 3,402.18 and 3,428.39.
Among the actives, Keppel Corp jumped 1.91 percent, while City Developments shed 0.29 percent, Hongkong Land fell 1.45 percent, DBS Group eased 0.0.30 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation dipped 0.29 percent, Golden Agri-Resources lost 1.15 percent, Genting Singapore jumped 1.42 percent and SingTel advanced 0.49 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks showed a strong move to the upside on Thursday, helping the markets recover from the sell-off in the two previous sessions.
The Dow jumped 225.48 points or 1.3 percent to 17,416.85, while the NASDAQ surged 45.41 points or 1 percent to 4,683.41 and the S&P 500 advanced 19.09 points or 1 percent to 2,021.25.
The support was partly attributed to comments Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reportedly made to a group of Senate Democrats at a private luncheon. While Yellen told the lawmakers the U.S. economy is strong, she expressed some concerns about the situation in Europe – easing concerns about the outlook for interest rates.
Positive sentiment may also have been generated by a report from the Labor Department showing that initial jobless claims fell to a fourteen-year low in the week ended January 24.
And a separate report released by the National Association of Realtors unexpectedly showed a sharp drop in U.S. pending home sales in December.
Later today, Singapore will release unemployment data for the fourth quarter of 2014, with forecasts expecting the jobless rate to creep up to 2.0 percent from 1.9 percent in the previous three months.
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