(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has closed higher in three straight sessions, collecting more than 20 points or 0.7 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index finished just above the 3,430-point plateau, although the market draws a lower open on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets remains soft, thanks largely to geopolitical concerns and airline woes. The European and U.S. markets ended lower, and the Asian markets are also expected to open in the red.
The STI finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the financial shares, plantations and industrials were tempered by a mixed performance from the property sector.
For the day, the index added 12.57 points or 0.37 percent to finish at 3,431.59 after trading between 3,406.75 and 3,439.15.
Among the actives, Keppel Corporation climbed 1.23 percent, while City Developments dropped 1.18 percent, CapitaLand spiked 1.97 percent, DBC Group collected 0.89 percent, United Overseas Bank added 0.31 percent, Golden Agri-Resources advanced 1.25 percent, Noble Group surged 2.76 percent, SembCorp advanced 1.40 percent and SingTel gained 0.69 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks remained lackluster on Thursday after an early move to the downside. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before closing modestly lower.
The Dow dipped 40.31 points or 0.2 percent to 17,678.23, while the NASDAQ slid 13.16 points or 0.3 percent to 4,863.36 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.90 points or 0.2 percent to 2,056.15.
The early weakness followed news that Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Crude oil moved higher on the news of the escalation of the conflict, with crude for May delivery jumping $ 2.22 to $ 51.43 a barrel.
Negative sentiment was also generated by comments from French prosecutor Brice Robin indicating that the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps brought the plane down deliberately.
On the economic front, the Labor Department reported a bigger than expected pullback in initial jobless claims in the week ended March 21.
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