(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has finished higher now in five straight sessions, collecting almost 45 points or 1.3 percent in that span. The Straits Times Index settled just below the 3,455-point plateau, and now the market may extend its gains again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm, thanks in part to renewed support from oil prices – while continued bargain hunting may remain on the docket following last week’s weakness. The European and U.S. markets ended higher, and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished slightly higher on Monday as gains from the properties were capped by weakness from the plantations and a mixed bag from the financial shares.

For the day, the index gained 4.16 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 3,454.26 after trading between 3,440.30 and 3,458.71. Volume was 1.62 billion shares worth 959 million Singapore dollars. There were 228 gainers and 188 decliners, with 515 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Keppel Corp climbed 1.01 percent, while CapitaLand jumped 1.39 percent, DBS Group collected 0.30 percent, United Overseas Bank dipped 0.13 percent, Wilmar International shed 0.61 percent, Noble Group dropped 1.59 percent, SingTel fell 1.13 percent and Thai Beverage surged 3.36 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as stocks showed a strong move to the upside on Monday, following significant weakness last week.

The Dow soared 263.65 points or 1.5 percent to 17,976.31, while the NASDAQ jumped 56.22 points or 1.2 percent to 4,947.44 and the S&P 500 surged 25.22 points or 1.2 percent to 2,086.24.

The strength was partly due to bargain hunting following last week’s pullback, which dragged the Dow and the NASDAQ down to their lowest intraday levels in over a month.

Buying interest was also generated by comments from People’s Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan that generated optimism about additional stimulus.

News on the merger-and-acquisition front also generated some positive sentiment, with Hyperion Therapeutics ( HPTX ) and Auspex Pharmaceuticals ( ASPX ) posting standout gains after agreeing to be acquired by Horizon Pharma ( HZNP ) and Teva (TEVA), respectively.

On the economic front, the National Association of Realtors said that pending home sales jumped to their highest level in twenty months in February. Also, the Commerce Department noted that personal income rose by slightly more than expected in February.

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