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Singapore Stock Market May Run Out Of Steam

(RTTNews) - The Singapore stock market has tracked higher in back-to-back trading days, gathering more than 50 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,255-point plateau although the rally may stall on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower on concerns for trade and the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were mostly lower and the Asian markets are likely to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished slightly higher on Thursday following mixed performances from the financials, properties and plantations.

For the day, the index perked 8.39 points or 0.26 percent to finish at 3,253.16 after trading between 3,235.80 and 3,253.67. Volume was 1.17 billion shares worth 1.01 billion Singapore dollars. There were 194 gainers and 191 decliners.

Among the actives, CapitaLand and Comfort DelGro both surged 2.10 percent, while Golden Agri-Resources plummeted 1.92 percent, Wilmar International spiked 1.54 percent, Ascendas REIT jumped 0.73 percent, Thai Beverage tumbled 0.69 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust dropped 0.53 percent, Singapore Exchange climbed 0.52 percent, Keppel Corp shed 0.49 percent, United Overseas Bank lost 0.42 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust advanced 0.42 percent, SembCorp Industries fell 0.38 percent, DBS Group collected 0.28 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation added 0.26 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, SingTel, Genting Singapore and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild consolidation as stocks showed a lack of direction Thursday and eventually finished mixed.

The Dow shed 103.88 points or 0.41 percent, while the NASDAQ rose 6.58 points or 0.09 percent to 7,426.95 and the S&P fell 7.30 points or 0.27 percent to 2,745.73.

Initial weakness on Wall Street came after a report from the Commerce Department unexpectedly showed a big drop in retail sales in December, increasing the appeal of safe havens like bonds. Also, the Labor Department said producer prices unexpectedly fell in January.

Selling pressure has waned over the course of the morning, as traders continued to express optimism about U.S.-China trade talks and avoiding another government shutdown.

Crude oil prices moved higher Thursday on optimism for a resolution in trade talks between China and the U.S. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $0.51 or 1 percent at $54.41 a barrel.
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