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Positive Bounce Predicted For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has ticked lower in back-to-back sessions, sliding more than a dozen points or 0.3 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,510-point plateau although it may regain its footing on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm thanks to easing concerns about U.S. treasuries, plus continued support from crude oil prices. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were up - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished slightly lower on Thursday following losses from the plantation stocks and property stocks, while the financials came in mixed.

For the day, the index shed 7.77 points or 0.22 percent to finish at 3,512.68 after trading between 3,511.62 and 3,523.94. Volume was 3.3 billion shares worth 1.1 billion Singapore dollars. There were 248 decliners and 185 gainers.

Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources plummeted 2.60 percent, while Comfort DelGro spiked 1.01 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust tumbled 0.95 percent, SembCorp Industries skidded 0.94 percent, Genting Singapore dropped 0.75 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding jumped 0.64 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust shed 0.50 percent, DBS Group lost 0.38 percent, Wilmar International was down 0.31 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.31 percent, SingTel fell 0.28 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, Thai Beverage, Ascendas REIT and City Developments all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Thursday, offsetting the modest pullback in the previous session as the major averages climbed to new record closing highs.

The Dow jumped 205.60 points or 0.81 percent to 25,574.73, while the NASDAQ advanced 58.21 points or 0.81 percent to 7,211.78 and the S&P climbed 19.33 points or 0.70 percent to 2,767.56.

The rebound on Wall Street was partly due to diminishing concerns about treasuries after China reports that officials have recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. debt.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported another unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits. A separate report from the Labor Department unexpectedly showed a modest decrease in producer prices in December.

Crude oil futures surged again Thursday, blasting through $64 a barrel as the dollar weakened versus major rivals. February WTI oil gained 23 cents or 0.4 percent to $63.80/bbl, having briefly jumped above $64.

Closer to home, Singapore will provide November figures for retail sales later today; in October, sales were up 1.5 percent on month and down 0.1 percent on year.

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