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Singapore Shares May Extend Thursday's Gains

The Singapore stock market on Thursday ended the two-day slide in which it had fallen more than 25 points or 0.7 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,260-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat thanks to solid economic data and a rebound in the price of crude oil. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are expected to follow that lead.

The STI finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the financials and properties were tempered by weakness from the industrials.

For the day, the index climbed 25.19 points or 0.78 percent to finish at 3,261.84 after trading between 3,233.85 and 3,264.62. Volume was 1.2 billion shares worth 957.3 million Singapore dollars. There were 258 gainers and 158 decliners.

Among the actives, CapitaLand surged 2.78 percent, while Thai Beverage spiked 2.23 percent, Wilmar International climbed 186 percent, United Overseas Bank jumped 1.65 percent, DBS Group collected 1.19 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings advanced 1.16 percent, Singapore Press Holdings skidded 1.11 percent, Genting Singapore shed 0.82 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation added 0.81 percent, Comfort DelGro lost 0.75 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding fell 0.34 percent, SingTel dipped 0.27 percent and Golden Agri-Resources and Global Logistic Properties were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Thursday as the major averages again hit fresh record closing highs.

The Dow rose 113.75 points or 0.50 percent to 22,775.39, while the NASDAQ advanced 50.73 points or 0.78 percent to 6,585.36 and the S&P added 14.33 points or 0.56 percent to 2,552.07.

Positive sentiment was generated after the House approved a $4.1 trillion budget resolution. The resolution includes major spending cuts but is largely seen as a vehicle for Republicans to enact their proposed tax cuts.

Trading activity was subdued ahead of the closely watched monthly jobs report due later today. Employment is expected to rise by 90,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.4 percent.

In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the week ended September 30. Also, the Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed by more than expected in August, and also that factory orders jumped 1.2 percent.

Crude oil rebounded on Thursday after weakness earlier in the week. November WTI crude oil was up 81 cents of 1.6 percent to $50.79/bbl.

by RTT Staff Writer

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