(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market on Monday wrote a finish to the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 30 points or 0.9 percent. The Straits Times Index ended just below the 3,425-point plateau, and the market may extend its gains on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly upbeat, thanks mainly to a rebound in the price of crude oil. The European and U.S. markets finished higher and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that lead.
The STI finished modestly higher on Monday following gains from the properties and telecoms, and a mixed bag from the financials and plantations.
For the day, the index climbed 32.15 points or 0.95 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,423.35 after trading as low as 3,394.54. Volume was 1.31 billion shares worth 1.29 billion Singapore dollars. There were 261 decliners and 182 gainers, with 495 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, City Developments added 0.70 percent, while CapitaLand climbed 1.15 percent, DBS Group shed 0.35 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 1.38 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation advanced 1.06 percent, Wilmar International jumped 0.93 percent, Genting Singapore tumbled 1.85 percent, Noble Group surged 3.29 percent and SingTel gained 0.98 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks fluctuated on Monday before showing a substantial move to the upside going into the close. The strong gains partly offset the steep losses from last week.
The Dow jumped 196.09 points or 1.1 percent to 17,361.04, while the NASDAQ advanced 41.45 points or 0.9 percent to 4,676.69 and the S&P 500 surged 25.86 points or 1.3 percent to 2,020.85.
The rally was partly due to an increase by the price of crude oil, which saw further upside after rising sharply last Friday. After soaring $ 3.71 to $ 48.24 a barrel in the previous session, crude for March delivery jumped $ 1.33 to $ 49.57 a barrel.
Bargain hunting also contributed to the recovery by stocks, with the advance by the Dow coming after it hit a three-month intraday low in early trading.
Earlier in the session, negative sentiment was generated by disappointing U.S. economic data, including a report showing that manufacturing activity grew at a slower than expected pace in January. A separate report showed that U.S. construction spending rose by less than expected in December.
Later today, Singapore will see January numbers for manufacturing and electronics PMIs. The manufacturing PMI is called at 49.8, up from 49.6 in December. The electronics PMI is expected to come in at 50.4, down from 50.5 a month earlier.
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