(RTTNews.com) – The win streak has stretched to four sessions now for the Singapore stock market, which has advanced almost 40 points or 1.2 percent in that span. The Straits Times Index closed just above the 3,450-point plateau, and the market may add to its winnings on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic, although any upside is likely to be capped by ongoing geopolitical concerns in the Middle East. The European markets were mostly higher on Friday and the U.S. bourses ended slightly higher, and the Asian markets are tipped to open in the green.
The STI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the plantations and financials were capped by weakness from the industrials and a mixed bag from the property sector.
For the day, the index advanced 18.51 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 3,450.10 after trading between 3,434.13 and 3,453.60. Volume was 1.60 billion shares worth 1.12 billion Singapore dollars. There were 257 gainers and 146 decliners, with 529 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources surged 7.41 percent, while Wilmar International jumped 1.55 percent, Keppel Corp dropped 1.10 percent, City Developments climbed 1.39 percent, CapitaMall Trust lost 0.92 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 1.13 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation advanced 0.47 percent, SembCorp tumbled 1.15 percent and Olam International lost 1.00 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is mildly positive as stocks managed to end higher due to some late-day buying interest. The gains partly offset the losses in the four previous sessions.
The Dow rose 34.43 points or 0.2 percent to 17,712.66, while the NASDAQ climbed 27.86 points or 0.6 percent to 4,891.22 and the S&P 500 edged up 4.87 points or 0.2 percent to 2,061.02. For the week, the NASDAQ plunged 2.7 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 tumbled 2.3 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
The higher close followed remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who said an interest rate hike may well be warranted later this year but stressed that any increase in rates would be gradual.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department noted that U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2014 was unrevised at 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter.
Also, the University of Michigan reported that consumer sentiment deteriorated less than estimated in March – above forecasts but down from the previous month.
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