Singapore Market May Reverse Thursday's Losses

The Singapore stock market on Thursday snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 60 points or 1.9 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just below the 3,175-point plateau, although the market may stop the bleeding on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat following positive economic data and a bounce in the price of crude oil. The European and U.S. markets saw mild upside and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

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

For the day, the index fell 11.33 points or 0.36 percent to finish at 3,173.24 after trading between 3,168.27 and 3,187.44. Volume was 3.2 billion shares worth 1.2 billion Singapore dollars. There were 233 gainers and 230 decliners.

Among the actives, SembCorp Marine spiked 2.41 percent, while CapitaLand dropped 1.36 percent, Golden Agri-Resources climbed 1.32 percent, City Developments lost 1.26 percent, Noble Group shed 1.03 percent, Wilmar International fell 0.84 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding skidded 0.44 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation eased 0.10 percent and United Overseas Bank collected 0.09 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved higher on Thursday, allowing the tech-heavy NASDAQ to hit a new record closing high.

The Dow added 69.17 points or 0.3 percent to 20,728.49, while the NASDAQ climbed 16.80 points or 0.3 percent to 5,914.34 and the S&P rose 6.93 points or 0.3 percent to 2,368.06.

The support followed a Commerce Department report showing better than estimated economic growth in Q4 of 2016. A separate report from the Labor Department showed a drop in initial jobless claims in the week ended March 25th.

However, traders seemed reluctant to make more significant moves amid continued uncertainty about the outlook for President Donald Trump's policy agenda.

Crude oil futures jumped back above $50 a barrel Thursday, as Kuwait signaled support for the six-month extension of OPEC's supply quota plan. WTI light sweet crude oil was up 85 cents to $50.36 a barrel.

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