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Additional Support Tipped For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has climbed higher in two straight sessions, gathering almost 40 points or 1.2 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,415-point plateau and it's expected to open higher again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with continued bargain hunting after recent weakness likely to provide mild support. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financials and industrials, while the properties and plantations came in mixed.

For the day, the index climbed 30.09 points or 0.89 percent to finish at 3,415.07 after trading between 3,399.82 and 3,438.25. Volume was 2.19 billion shares worth 1.75 billion Singapore dollars. There were 289 gainers and 183 decliners.

Among the actives, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation surged 2.53 percent, while United Overseas Bank soared 1.86 percent, Thai Beverage spiked 1.68 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings jumped 1.45 percent, CapitaLand climbed 1.44 percent, DBS Group collected 1.17 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust skidded 1.01 percent, SingTel fell 0.89 percent, Wilmar International shed 0.66 percent, SembCorp Industries added 0.62 percent, Ascendas REIT advanced 0.39 percent, Keppel Corp gained 0.38 percent, Singapore Exchange lost 0.14 percent and Comfort DelGro, Golden Agri-Resources, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Genting Singapore and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks shrugged off a lower open to tick slightly higher on Tuesday, extending the upward move in the two previous sessions.

The Dow added 39.18 points or 0.16 percent to 24,640.45, while the NASDAQ advanced 31.55 points or 0.45 percent to 7,013.51 and the S&P rose 6.94 points or 0.26 percent to 2,662.94.

The rebound came as traders looked ahead to reports on consumer prices and retail sales on Wednesday. The data may have a significant impact on how the Federal Reserve will act regarding future interest rate hikes.

Crude oil futures were steady Tuesday, but unable to recoup recent losses. Analysts point to a surge in U.S. shale oil production as the cause of oil's retreat from 4-year highs above $66. WTI light sweet oil for March was down 0.2 percent at $59.19/bbl.

Closer to home, Singapore will release January numbers for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In December, imports were worth S$40.10 billion and exports were at S$44.59 billion for a trade surplus of S$5.49 billion.

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