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Continued Support Tipped For Singapore Shares

The Singapore stock market on Wednesday snapped the three-day slide in which it had surrendered more than 45 points or 1.5 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,250-point plateau, and it may find additional support again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with any upside likely tempered by a hard crash in the price of crude oil. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares, plantation stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index jumped 37.54 points or 1.17 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,248.71 after moving as low as 3,199.98.

Among the actives, Hutchison Port Holdings surged 3.49 percent, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation spiked 2.07 percent, DBS Group advanced 1.98 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 1.97 percent, Golden Agri-Resources climbed 1.33 percent, Genting Singapore jumped 0.94 percent, Wilmar International picked up 0.90 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding added 0.82 percent, Thai Beverage tumbled 0.55 percent and SingTel gained 0.26 percent.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Wednesday.

The Dow eased 1.10 points or 0.1 percent to 21,478.17, while the NASDAQ climbed 40.80 points or 0.7 percent to 6,150.86 and the S&P rose 3.53 points or 0.2 percent to 2,432.54.

In economic news, the Federal Reserve plans to reduce its bloated balance sheet but failed to provide a specific timeline to begin the process, the minutes of the June 13-14 Federal Open Market Committee showed. Since that meeting, final GDP figures for the first quarter showed economic growth was better than expected.

Also, the Commerce Department said new orders for U.S. manufactured goods fell more than expected in May.

Crude oil futures tumbled Wednesday, reversing recent gains amid signs that OPEC's supply quota plan may be falling apart. Crude for August plunged $1.94 or 4.1 percent to $45.13/bbl, the biggest daily loss in a month. The decline snapped an eight-day win streak.

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