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Singapore Stock Market May Extend Losing Streak

The Singapore stock market has finished lower now in three straight sessions, slipping more than 25 points or 0.8 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,000-point plateau, and the market may take further damage again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky due to uncertainty about President-elect Donald Trump's policies ahead of his inauguration on Friday. The European and U.S. markets were mixed but little changed and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The STI finished modestly lower on Wednesday as losses from the financial shares and property stocks were mitigated by support from the plantations.

For the day, the index gave away 12.55 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 3,000.22 after trading between 2,988.07 and 3,008.26. Volume was 1.6 billion shares worth 1.1 billion Singapore dollars. There were 241 gainers and 197 decliners.

Among the actives, Wilmar International spiked 2.94 percent, while Hutchison Port Holdings surged 2.38 percent, SingTel fell 1.31 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation shed 1.28 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding jumped 1.23 percent, Golden Agri-Resources climbed 1.20 percent, Thai Beverage tumbled 1.15 percent, DBS Group skidded 0.82 percent, CapitaLand dropped 0.64 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust fell 0.25 percent and Genting Singapore perked 0.54 percent.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Wednesday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The Dow shed 22.05 points or 0.1 percent to 19,804.72, while the NASDAQ rose 16.93 points or 0.3 percent to 5,555.65 and the S&P added 4.00 points or 0.2 percent to 2,271.89.

Trump's surprise victory initially triggered a rally on Wall Street, but traders have been reluctant to make significant moves as they wait to see what he will do once officially sworn in.

In economic news, the Labor Department said that consumer prices rose in line with estimates in December. The report also showed gains in the annual rate of consumer price growth, supporting expectations for further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this year.

A separate report from the Fed showed a rebound in industrial production in December, while the National Association of Realtors noted a modest pullback in homebuilder confidence in January.

Also, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book indicated that the economy continued to expand at a modest pace across most regions from late November through the end of the year.

Crude oil futures plunged Wednesday as WTI light sweet crude oil was down $1.40 or 2.6 percent to $51.08/bbl.

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