The Singapore stock market has moved higher now in six straight sessions, climbing almost 140 points or 5.7 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index finished just below the 2,950-point plateau, and now traders are expected to take some money off the table when the market kicks off trade on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat with a hint of caution ahead of key central bank meetings in Europe, as well as U.S. employment data on Friday. The European Central Bank and the Bank of England will meet later today; the ECB is expected to cut interest rates, while the BOE may announce further stimulus measures. The European markets were mixed but little changed and the U.S. bourses were closed for the July 4 holiday, and the Asian markets are expected to follow the European lead.
The STI finished slightly higher on Wednesday, as gains from the property stocks and telecoms were offset by losses from the plantation stocks.
For the day, the index added 3.44 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 2,948.77 after trading between 2,948.50 and 2,964.61 on volume of 1.67 billion shares. There were 195 gainers and 176 decliners.
Among the actives, Singapore Telecommunications jumped 0.91 percent, while Wilmar International shed 1.34 percent, CapitaMall Trust added 0.8 percent and CapitaLand collected 0.4 percent.
There is no lead from Wall Street, and the European markets provided little guidance as stocks snapped a three-day winning streak on Wednesday, with investors adopting a cautious stance ahead of central bank meetings tomorrow and the U.S. jobs report set to be released Friday. Trading volumes slipped due to the Independence Day holiday in the U.S.
Banks remain weak after the European Central Bank tightened the limit on the amount of government guaranteed debt that banks can use as collateral in return for loans.
On the other hand, Commodities such as copper and crude recouped some of their early losses, while the euro stayed weaker against the dollar and yen.
In economic news, the service sector in the euro area contracted less than estimated in June, a survey by Markit Economics showed. The purchasing managers' index for the service sector came in at 47.1 in June, up from 46.8 recorded in the preliminary estimates. The latest figure was also higher than May's reading of 46.7.
In a separate report, Eurozone retail sales recovered unexpectedly in May on robust non-food sales, official data showed Wednesday. Retail sales rose 0.6 percent month-on-month, partially offsetting the 1.4 percent decline in April, Eurostat said. Economists had expected no change in the retail trade volume.
The European markets finished mixed but little changed on Wednesday as Switzerland's SMI ended 0.12 percent higher, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 eased 0.06 percent, the German DAX lost 0.20 percent and France's CAC 40 fell 0.11 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com