(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market headed south again on Monday, one session after it had halted the two-day slide in which it had fallen more than 25 points or 0.7 percent. The Straits Times Index finished just above the 3,400-point plateau, although the market is looking at a higher open on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic, with bargain hunting likely on the docket for many of the oversold bourses. The European and U.S. markets ended higher, and the Asian markets figure to follow that lead.

The STI finished modestly lower on Monday as the financials, properties and plantations all were volatile and mostly lower.

For the day, the index dipped 12.94 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 3,404.57 after trading between 3,384.07 and 3,408.42. Volume was 1.18 billion shares worth 1.21 billion Singapore dollars. There were 287 decliners and 144 gainers, with 502 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, City Developments shed 1.37 percent, while Hongkong Land climbed 1.29 percent, Noble Group plummeted 5.21 percent, Golden Agri-Resources jumped 1.20 percent, DBS Group collected 0.31 percent, United Overseas Bank shed 0.48 percent, SingTel fell 1.67 percent and Singapore Exchange tumbled 1.27 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Monday, regaining ground following last week’s pullback.

The Dow advanced 138.94 points or 0.8 percent to 17,995.72, while the NASDAQ rose 15.07 points or 0.3 percent to 4,942.44 and the S&P 500 climbed 8.17 points or 0.4 percent to 2,079.43.

The strength was due to bargain hunting on the heels of Friday’s sell-off, which reflected concerns on the outlook for interest rates. Buying interest was subdued, however, with traders looking ahead to next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

After last Friday’s better than expected jobs report, the upcoming Fed meeting is likely to remain the main topic of conversation on Wall Street. The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at the meeting, but its accompanying statement may signal that a rate hike is on the horizon.

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