The Singapore stock market has moved higher now in five consecutive trading days, rising more than 70 points or 2.3 percent in that span. The Straits Times Index closed just below the 3,080-point plateau, and now analysts are forecasting mild consolidation at the opening of trade on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is slightly soft, with investors expected to lock in gains after rallying in recent sessions. Adding to the cautious sentiment are weak economic data from the U.S. and concerns of an escalation of hostilities between China and Japan over a group of disputed islands. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.
The STI finished slightly higher, supported by gains from the property stocks and plantations, plus a mixed bad from the financials.
For the day, the index added 8.30 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 3.078.72 after trading between 3,075.09 and 3,088.35 on volume of 2.75 billion shares. There were 331 gainers and 153 decliners.
Among the actives, Keppel Corp collected 0.71 percent, while City Developments surged 2.37 percent, CapitaLand climbed 1.57 percent, Noble Group added 0.74 percent, Wilmar International spiked 1.54 percent, DBS Group shed 0.61 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation dipped 0.11 percent and United Overseas Bank collected 0.51 percent.
The lead from Wall Street suggests mild consolidation as stocks moved mostly lower on Monday, with traders cashing in on last week's Federal Reserve-inspired rally. Selling pressure remained relatively subdued, however, limiting the downside for the markets.
Profit taking contributed to the weakness, which came after recent gains lifted the major averages to multi-year highs. The Dow and the S&P 500 both ended Friday's trading at their best closing levels in over four years, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ reached a nearly 12-year closing high.
Last week's rally followed the Federal Reserve's announcement of its plans to launch a third round of quantitative easing in an effort to boost the sluggish economy. The Fed said it would purchase additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month, and it will continue the purchases until the outlook for the labor market improves.
Disappointing manufacturing data also helped to drag stocks lower, with the New York Federal Reserve reporting that conditions for New York manufacturers have deteriorated further in September. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to -10.41 in September from -5.85 in August, with a negative reading indicating a contraction in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had been expecting -2.0.
In corporate news, shares of Lowe's (LOW) closed moderately lower after the home improvement retailer announced that it has withdrawn its offer to acquire Canadian rival Rona for C$14.50 per share in cash.
The major U.S. averages were in the red on Monday as the Dow fell 40.27 points or 0.3 percent to finish at 13,553.10, while the NASDAQ edged down 5.28 points or 0.2 percent to end at 3,178.67 and the S&P 500 slipped 4.58 points or 0.3 percent to close at 1,461.19.
In economic news, Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) declined 10.6 percent, International Enterprise Singapore said on Monday, reversing July's downwardly revised 5.7 percent growth. Economists had forecast a 3.3 percent drop.
Exports of electronic products contracted 11 percent in contrast to the 2 percent growth in the previous month. Expectations were for a 1.2 percent decline. Non-electronic NODX decreased 10 percent compared to the 7.8 percent increase in July.
Meanwhile, total exports declined 5.9 percent year-on-year in August, in contrast to the 0.2 percent expansion in the previous month. At the same time, imports decreased 8.3 percent following a 6 percent increase in the previous month. Month-on-month, total exports contracted 3.8 percent and imports fell 0.2 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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