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Losing Streak May End For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has finished lower now in four straight sessions, sliding more than 60 points or 1.8 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,390-point plateau, although it's expected to find traction on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on optimism the U.S. government will avoid a shutdown, and a bump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished modestly lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares and a mixed bag from the industrial issues.

For the day, the index sank 9.07 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 3,388.14 after trading between 3,377.96 and 3,409.62. Volume was 1.6 billion shares worth 1.1 billion Singapore dollars. There were 246 decliners and 159 gainers.

Among the actives, City Developments surged 4.58 percent, while Genting Singapore plummeted 3.03 percent, Comfort DelGro skidded 2.51 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding tumbled 1.96 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust climbed 1.08 percent, SembCorp Industries dropped 1.00 percent, CapitaLand shed 0.86 percent, United Overseas Bank lost 0.66 percent, SingTel added 0.534 percent, Keppel Corp gained 0.13 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.08 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, Golden Agri-Resources, Thai Beverage, DBS Group and Wilmar International all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks saw moderate strength on Thursday, although they remained beneath their recent record closing highs.

The Dow rose 70.57 points or 0.29 percent to 24,211.48, while the NASDAQ advanced 36.47 points or 0.54 percent to 6,812.84 and the S&P 500 climbed 7.71 points or 0.29 percent to 2,636.98.

The strength reflected optimism about lawmakers passing a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown ahead of Friday's deadline. However, traders continued to express uncertainty about the details of the Republican tax reform bill.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted an unexpected decrease in first-time claims for jobless benefits in the week ended December 2. Also, the Federal Reserve said that consumer credit jumped by $20.5 billion in October, beating estimates.

Crude oil futures rebounded Thursday, as traders bet this week's decline was overdone. WTI light sweet crude oil was up 76 cents at $56.72 a barrel, having slipped from near $60 over the past few weeks.

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