The Singapore stock market has moved higher now in three consecutive trading days, rising more than 35 points or 1.2 percent en route to a 14-week closing high. The Straits Times Index finished just below the 3,015-point plateau, and now traders are looking for further upside when the market kicks off trade on Wednesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive, although the upside may be limited by solid gains in the previous session. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee that the central bank is prepared to take further action if the economy continues to struggle, although he did not say that further stimulus was imminent. On the corporate front, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola and Mattel all reported better than expected second quarter results. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses ended higher, and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday, fueled by gains from the plantation stocks.
For the day, the index climbed 16.05 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 3,014.80 after trading between 2,995.43 and 3,027.07 on volume of 1.71 billion shares. There were 200 gainers and 170 decliners.
Among the gainers, Golden Agri-Resources spiked 4.8 percent, while Wilmar International climbed 2 percent and Olam International added 0.3 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved mostly higher on Tuesday afternoon, following considerable volatility in the morning. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news as well as the release of largely upbeat U.S. economic data.
Goldman Sachs reported Q2 earnings of $1.78 per share on revenues of $6.6 billion compared to estimates for earnings of $1.12 per share on revenues of $6.4 billion. Shares of Goldman Sachs edged up by 0.3 percent on the news. Coca-Cola and Mattel also reported better than expected second quarter results and rose by 1.6 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.
On the economic front, the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production rose 0.4 percent in June following a revised 0.2 percent decrease in May. Economists had expected an increase of 0.3 percent compared to the 0.1 percent drop originally reported for May.
A separate report from the National Association of Home Builders showed a big improvement in homebuilder confidence in July, with the NAHB /Wells Fargo Housing Market Index jumping to a new five-year high.
The Labor Department also reported that U.S. consumer prices came in unchanged in June, as a steep drop in energy prices was offset by higher prices for food, medical care, and apparel.
Traders also kept a close eye on Bernanke's testimony, in which he reiterated that the central bank is prepared to take further action if the economy continues to struggle, but his remarks did not seem to indicate that further stimulus was imminent.
The major averages moved roughly sideways going into the close, hovering firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 78.33 points or 0.6 percent to finish at 12,805.54, while the NASDAQ rose 13.10 points or 0.5 percent to end at 2,910.04 and the S&P 500 advanced 10.03 points or 0.7 percent to
In economic news, Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) expanded 6.8 percent year-on-year in June, much faster than the expected 2 percent growth, data released by IE Singapore showed Tuesday. Non-oil exports rose 3.2 percent year-on-year in May. Both electronic and non-electronic shipments improved in June.
On an annual basis, NODX to all of the top ten markets, except the US, Thailand and China, increased during the month.
by RTT Staff Writer
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