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Singapore Stock Market May Extend Losing Streak

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in back-to-back trading days, sliding almost 35 points or 1.1 percent along the way. The Straight Times Index now rests just above the 3,155-point plateau and it may continue to spin its wheels on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower, thanks to a decline in crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were closed and the Asian bourses are tipped to open slightly lower on Thursday.

The STI finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the financials and mixed performances from the properties and industrials.

For the day, the index sank 11.87 points or 0.37 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,155.92 after moving as low as 3,127.70. Volume was 1.26 billion shares worth 873 million Singapore dollars. There were 248 decliners and 130 gainers.

Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 2.42 percent, while Thai Beverage plummeted 2.40 percent, Golden Agri-Resources soared 2.00 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings spiked 1.92 percent, SembCorp Industries plunged 1.83 percent, Keppel Corp tumbled 1.57 percent, DBS Group skidded 1.24 percent, Genting Singapore dropped 0.98 percent, CapitaLand retreated 0.62 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust climbed 0.57 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation shed 0.52 percent, Ascendas REIT added 0.39 percent, Singapore Press Holdings gained 0.38 percent, SingTel picked up 0.33 percent, United Overseas Bank eased 0.16 percent and Singapore Exchange, CapitaLand Mall Trust and Wilmar International were unchanged.

There is no lead from Wall Street as the major averages were closed Wednesday for the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30.

In economic news, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book and most of the twelve Fed districts reported that their economies expanded at a modest or moderate pace from mid-October through late November.

The release of the Beige Book comes as the Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by a quarter point at its next monetary policy meeting later this month.

Crude oil futures failed to hold earlier gains and settled lower on Wednesday, with traders weighing the prospects of future demand. Crude oil futures for January ended down $0.36 or 0.7 percent at $52.89 a barrel.

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