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Rally May Stall For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has tracked higher in back-to-back sessions, advancing almost 55 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,290-point plateau although it may be stuck in neutral on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower, thanks to a disappointing jobs report from the U.S. and a decline in the price of crude oil. The European and U.S. markets were mostly in the red, and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The STI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the financials and industrials, while the plantations were mixed and the property sector was soft.

For the day, the index gathered 29.45 points or 0.90 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,291.29 after moving as low as 3,264.48.

Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 2.05 percent, while Singapore Exchange climbed 1.74 percent, City Developments jumped 1.67 percent, United Overseas Bank spiked 1.46 percent, SembCorp advanced 1.34 percent, Golden Agri-Resources skidded 1.32 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation perked 1.07 percent, Wilmar International added 0.91 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust shed 0.91 percent, DBS Group collected 0.80 percent, Comfort DelGro was up 0.76 percent, CapitaLand fell 0.27 percent and Thai Beverage, SingTel and Hutchison Port Holdings were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Friday, eventually ending on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

The NASDAQ added 4.82 points or 0.07 percent to 6,590.18, while the Dow shed 1.72 points or 0.01 percent to 22,773.67 and the S&P 500 fell 2.74 points or 0.11 percent to 2,549.33. For the week, the Dow surged 1.6 percent, while the NASDAQ gained 1.5 percent and the S&P jumped 1.2 percent.

The mixed close followed the Labor Department that showed an unexpected decrease in employment in the U.S. in September - although the jobless rate fell to 4.2 percent from 4.4 percent in August for the lowest level since February of 2001.

Energy stocks were down as crude oil prices saw a steep drop. Crude for November delivery plunged $1.50 to $49.29 a barrel after climbing $0.81 to $50.79 a barrel on Thursday, with the pullback attributed to renewed oversupply concerns.

by RTT Staff Writer

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