Singapore Stock Market Draws Firm Lead On Monday

The Singapore stock market on Friday wrote a finish to the two-day slide in which it had given away just 5 points or 0.2 percent. The Straits Times Index settled just above the 3,470-point plateau, and the market is looking at additional support on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside, with positive restructuring news from General Electric capped by skepticism ahead of earnings news this week. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday, and the Asian bourses are also tipped to open in the green.

The STI finished slightly higher on Friday as gains from the telecoms were tempered by mixed performances from the financial shares and the property stocks.

For the day, the index added 12.08 points or 0.35 percent to finish at 3,472.38 after trading between 3,463.97 and 3,480.84. Volume was 2.7 billion shares worth 1.31 billion Singapore dollars. There were 320 gainers and 139 decliners, with 478 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Keppel Corp added 0.88 percent, while City Developments jumped 0.93 percent, Hongkong Land tumbled 1.57 percent, Noble Group surged 3.49 percent, DBS Group collected 0.39 percent, United Overseas Bank fell 0.86 percent, SingTel climbed 0.92 percent and Singapore Exchange advanced 2.75 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved mostly higher on Friday, adding to the gains in the two previous sessions.

The Dow added 98.92 points or 0.6 percent to 18,057.65, while the NASDAQ rose 21.41 points or 0.4 percent to 4,995.98 and the S&P 500 climbed 10.88 points or 0.5 percent to 2,102.06. For the week, the NASDAQ surged 2.2 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 both jumped 1.7 percent.

Positive sentiment was generated by news of General Electric’s (GE) restructuring of GE Capital, reducing the size of its financial businesses and selling most assets of GE Capital for about $ 26.5 billion. The company also announced a $ 50 billion stock repurchase program.

Overall activity was subdued, however, with traders staying on the sidelines as they wait for earnings season to pick up steam this week with the likes of JP Morgan (JPM), Intel (INTC), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Netflix (NFLX), Goldman Sachs (GS), American Express (AXP), and GE.

On the economic front, the Labor Department reported a pullback in U.S. import prices in March, while export prices inched slightly higher.

by RTT Staff Writer

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