(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market on Thursday wrote a finish to the two-day slide in which it had dipped almost 15 points or 0.5 percent. The Straits Times Index closed just above the 3,385-point plateau, although the market may be stuck in neutral on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is inconclusive, with traders likely to continue digesting Wednesday’s monetary policy statement from the Federal Reserve. The European and U.S. markets ended mixed but little changed, and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that lead.
The STI finished modestly higher on Thursday following some mixed volatility from the plantations and properties, although the financials and telecoms provided modest support.
For the day, the index climbed 24.41 points or 0.73 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,386.16 after trading as low as 3,371.76. Volume was 1.2 billion shares worth 1.18 billion Singapore dollars. There were 230 decliners and 229 gainers, with 473 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, City Developments shed 0.70 percent, while CapitaMall Trust surged 4.35 percent, Hongkong Land spiked 2.44 percent, Golden Agri-Resources tumbled 2.47 percent, Genting Singapore advanced 3.31 percent, Noble Group dropped 1.73 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation jumped 1.27 percent, DBS Group collected 0.30 percent and SingTel surged 2.42 percent.
The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks were lackluster on Thursday after rallying in the previous session. The major averages eventually ended mixed, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ clinging to a modest gain.
The NASDAQ edged up 9.55 points or 0.2 percent to 4,992.38, while the Dow slid 117.16 points or 0.7 percent to 17,959.03 and the S&P 500 fell 10.23 points or 0.5 percent to 2,089.27.
The choppy trading came as traders continued to digest the latest Fed statement, which was interpreted as dovish even though the central bank removed its pledge to remain “patient” regarding normalizing monetary policy.
Traders initially reacted positively to the apparent dovishness of the Fed but now seem to be expressing some renewed uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates.
On the economic front, the Labor Department noted a modest uptick in initial jobless claims in the week ended March 14, which inched up to 291,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 290,000.
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