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Singapore Shares May Head South Again On Monday

The Singapore stock market bounced higher again on Friday, one session after it had halted 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 above the 3,500-point plateau although it's expected to turn lower again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative thanks to geopolitical concerns after U.S. strikes in Syria. The European markets were up, and the U.S. bourses were down - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the financials, properties and plantations.

For the day, the index climbed 32.69 points or 0.94 percent to finish at 3,501.30 after trading between 3,482.99 and 3,506.80. Volume was 1.4 billion shares worth 1.3 billion Singapore dollars. There were 273 gainers and 151 decliners.

Among the actives, Comfort DelGro Corporation surged 3.79 percent, while City Developments soared 1.99 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation spiked 1.87 percent, Genting Singapore jumped 1.72 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings dropped 1.49 percent, Golden Agri-Resources climbed 1.47 percent, DBS Group advanced 1.21 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 1.11 percent, SembCorp Industries added 0.96 percent, Thai Beverage shed 0.62 percent, SingTel gained 0.60 percent, CapitaLand picked up 0.55 percent, Ascendas REIT lost 0.37 percent, Keppel Corp gathered 0.13 percent and CapitaLand Mall Trust and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild consolidation as stocks failed to hold an initial upward move on Friday and finished in the red - offsetting gains from the previous session.

The Dow slid 122.91 points or 0.50 percent to 24,360.14, the NASDAQ dropped 33.60 points or 0.47 percent to 7,106.65 and the S&P fell 7.69 points or 0.29 percent to 2,656.30. For the week, the NASDAQ surged 2.8 percent, the S&P gained 2 percent and the Dow added 1.8 percent.

The initial strength was a positive reaction to earnings news from financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), and Wells Fargo (WFC) - which all beat estimates.

Buying interest waned shortly after the open, however, ahead of this week's earnings news that includes Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), IBM (IBM), American Express (AXP), and General Electric (GE).

Crude oil futures surged amid expectations OPEC has re-balanced the oil markets with its supply quota plan. The cartel is determined to put a floor under oil prices around $70 a barrel, analysts say. WTI sweet crude was up 32 cents or 0.5 percent to $67.39/bbl for a weekly gain of 8.8 percent.

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