Win Streak May Continue For Singapore Shares

The Singapore stock market has climbed higher in three straight trading days, gathering more than 20 points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,235-point plateau the market is expected to extend its gains on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets continues to call for slim gains, with optimism over earnings news capped by a sharp drop in crude oil prices. The European markets were flat and the U.S. markets were slightly higher, and the Asian bourses figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly higher on Thursday following gains from the financials shares and property stocks.

For the day, the index gathered 3.13 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 3,234.37 after trading between 3,229.52 and 3,248.17. Volume was 2 billion shares worth 1.2 billion Singapore dollars. There were 276 gainers and 183 decliners.

Among the actives, CapitaLand spiked 1.73 percent, while Hutchison Port Holdings climbed 1.22 percent, SembCorp shed 0.93 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding added 0.79 percent, SingTel fell 0.53 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.38 percent, Ascendas REIT gained 0.38 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust picked up 0.30 percent, DBS Group advanced 0.19 percent and Golden Agri-Resources and Thai Beverage were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild upside as stocks moved slightly higher on Thursday, extending their recent winning streak to six sessions.

The Dow rose 70.53 points or 0.3 percent to 21,082.95, while the NASDAQ advanced 42.23 points or 0.7 percent to 6,205.26 and the S&P added 10.68 points or 0.4 percent to 2,415.07.

The gains followed upbeat earnings news from big-name retailers, which helped offset recent concerns about consumer spending. Best Buy (BBY) and Sears (SHLD) were the big winners.

In economic news, the Labor Department saw a slight uptick in first-time claims for jobless benefits in the week ended May 20th.

Crude oil futures plunged Thursday, despite news that OPEC will extend its supply quota plan. June WTI oil settled at $48.90/bbl, down $2.46 or 4.8 percent.

Closer to home, Singapore will provide April numbers for industrial production later today; in March, output was up 5.0 percent on month and 10.2 percent on year.

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