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Bargain Hunters May Boost Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in four straight trading days, sliding more than 100 points or 3.1 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,210-point plateau although it may stop the bleeding on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is unclear, with concerns over the outlook for interest rates offset by support from crude oil prices. The European markets were slightly higher and the Asian bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished modestly lower on Tuesday following losses from the financial shares and the property stocks.

For the day, the index fell 14.85 points or 0.47 percent to finish at 3,166.60 after trading between 3,160.85 and 3,187.18. Volume was 1.7 billion shares worth 991.3 million Singapore dollars. There were 199 decliners and 170 gainers.

Among the actives, Thai Beverage plummeted 3.68 percent, while Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 3.28 percent, Singapore Exchange plunged 2.21 percent, SembCorp Industries spiked 1.69 percent, Keppel Corp tumbled 0.99 percent, Genting Singapore skidded 0.98 percent, DBS Group dropped 0.82 percent, CapitaLand and SingTel both fell 0.62 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation retreated 0.54 percent, United Overseas Bank lost 0.46 percent, Ascendas REIT shed 0.39 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, Golden Agri-Resources and City Developments were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks fluctuated on Tuesday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed for the second straight day.

The Dow shed 56.21 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 26,430.57, while the NASDAQ added 2.07 points or 0.03 percent to 7,738.02 and the S&P fell 4.09 points or 0.14 percent to 2,880.34.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders kept an eye on treasuries amid renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates. With the bond markets re-opening after Monday's Columbus Day holiday, treasury yields turned lower after an initial move higher.

Traders shrugged off news that the International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for U.S. and Chinese economic growth, citing the "negative effect of recent tariff actions."

Crude oil prices moved up on Tuesday amid reports of falling crude exports from Iran ahead of the U.S. sanctions against the country. Crude oil futures for November delivery ended up $0.67 or 0.9 percent at $74.96 a barrel.

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