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Singapore Stock Market Likely To Reclaim 3,500-Point Level

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the five-day winning streak in which it had climbed more than 140 points or 4.1 percent. The Straits Times index now rests just beneath the 3,500-point plateau and it's expected to open higher on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic as easing geopolitical concerns were offset by sliding oil prices. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were higher, and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly lower on Monday as losses from the properties were mitigated by support from the financials and a mixed picture from the industrials.

For the day, the index eased 4.11 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 3,497.19 after trading between 3,482.29 and 3,509.48. Volume was 1.6 billion shares worth 863.2 million Singapore dollars. There were 275 decliners and 139 gainers.

Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding plummeted 1.65 percent, while Singapore Technologies plunged 1.36 percent, City Developments tumbled 1.25 percent, CapitaLand skidded 1.09 percent, Genting Singapore dropped 0.85 percent, SembCorp Industries shed 0.64 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust climbed 0.48 percent, DBS Group collected 0.46 percent, Comfort DelGro lost 0.46 percent, United Overseas Bank advanced 0.42 percent, Wilmar International gained 0.32 percent, SingTel fell 0.30 percent, Keppel Corp gathered 0.26 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation picked up 0.15 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, Golden Agri-Resources, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Thai Beverage and Ascendas REIT all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Monday, reacting to positive earnings and economic news while extending last week's gains.

The Dow added 212.90 points or 0.87 percent to 24,573.04, while the NASDAQ gained 49.63 points or 0.70 percent to 7,156.28 and the S&P climbed 21.54 points or 0.81 percent to 2,677.84.

The strength reflected a positive reaction to earnings news from financial giant Bank of America (BAC), which beat Q1 forecasts.

In economic news, the Commerce Department noted stronger than expected retail sales growth in March. Also, the National Association of Home Builders saw a modest drop in homebuilder confidence in April.

Stocks remained positive in the afternoon after President Donald Trump said he intends to nominate Richard Clarida as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman.

Crude oil prices fell Monday after data showed the shale sector is expected to rise by 125,000 barrels a day in May. June WTI oil settled at $66.22/bbl on Nymex, down $1.17 or 1.7 percent. Prices tumbled from last week's three-year peak.

Closer to home, Singapore will release March data for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In February, imports were worth 34.63 billion SGD and exports were at 38.95 billion SGD for a trade surplus of 4.32 billion SGD.

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