Singapore Stock Market Likely To Remain Rangebound

( – The Singapore stock market gave up just a pair of points on Monday, but that was enough to end the two-day winning streak in which it had gained more than 50 points or 1.5 percent. The Straits Times Index remained just above the 3,410-point plateau, and now the market is looking at another fairly flat lead on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation after the recent rally in commodity prices ran out of steam. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. markets were slightly lower, and the Asian markets are tipped to split the difference.

The STI finished barely lower on Monday as losses from the industrial were tempered by support from the financials and plantations, plus a mixed bag from the property sector.

For the day, the index eased 2.31 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 3,410.13 after trading between 3,409.42 and 3,430.32. Volume was 950.4 million shares worth 957.6 million Singapore dollars.

Among the actives, City Developments added 0.59 percent, while Hongkong Land shed 0.94 percent, DBS Group collected 0.75 percent, Singapore Exchange advanced 0.76 percent, United Overseas Bank gained 0.44 percent, Noble Group surged 4.00 percent, Wilmar International was up 0.31 percent, SembCorp Marine dipped 0.68 percent and Thai Beverage tumbled 1.32 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is slightly negative as stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Monday after moving higher in early trade. The major averages came under pressure going into the close, ending the session modestly lower.

The Dow edged down 11.61 points or 0.1 percent to 18,116.04, while the NASDAQ slid 15.44 points or 0.3 percent to 5,010.97 and the S&P 500 dipped 3.68 points or 0.2 percent to 2,104.42.

The early strength reflected a continued positive reaction to last week’s monetary policy statement from the Federal Reserve – which was perceived as dovish, as the central bank lowered its forecast for interest rates at the end of the year.

However, traders were reluctant to make significant moves amid lingering uncertainty about the monetary policy outlook. While recent economic data has shown signs of weakness, most analysts still expect the Fed to hike rights in June.

On the economic front, the National Association of Realtors reported a rebound in existing home sales in February. NAR said existing home sales rose 1.2 percent to an annual rate of 4.88 million in February after tumbling 4.9 percent to 4.82 million in January.

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