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Singapore Stock Market May Spin Its Wheels On Friday

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, advancing almost 30 points or 1 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,095-point plateau although the rally may stall on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild downside after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The STI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares, industrials and property stocks.

For the day, the index climbed 27.88 points or 0.91 percent to finish at 3,093.24 after trading between 3,079.96 and 3,097.59. Volume was 1.74 billion shares worth 1.17 billion Singapore dollars. There were 202 decliners and 192 gainers.

Among the actives, Comfort DelGro plummeted 6.78 percent, while Genting Singapore plunged 2.73 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 2.33 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings soared 2.04 percent, Golden Agri-Resources spiked 2.00 percent, SingTel tumbled 1.91 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation jumped 1.68 percent, Thai Beverage climbed 1.55 percent, Keppel Corp advanced 1.45 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust perked 1.42 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 1.26 percent, DBS Group gathered 0.93 percent, Ascendas REIT added 0.79 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust gained 0.59 percent, SembCorp Industries lost 0.37 percent, CapitaLand was up 0.32 percent and Wilmar International fell 0.31 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Thursday before finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow added 10.92 points or 0.04 percent to 26,191.22, while the NASDAQ lost 39.87 points or 0.53 percent to 7,530.88 and the S&P 500 fell 7.06 points or 0.25 percent to end at 2,806.83.

The mixed performance on Wall Street came after the Federal Reserve announced its widely anticipated decision to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2.25 percent.

The Fed's accompanying statement noted a slowdown in the pace of growth in business investment, but the central bank reiterated further gradual increases in interest rates remain appropriate.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a slight decrease in initial jobless claims in the week ended November 3.

Crude oil futures drifted lower on Thursday, extending losses to a ninth straight session on concerns over rising inventories and economic uncertainty. Crude oil futures for December ended down $1.00 or 1.6 percent at $60.67 a barrel, the lowest settlement price in about eight months.

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