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Singapore Stock Market May Add To Its Winnings

The Singapore stock market has moved higher in back-to-back trading days, gathering more than 40 points or 1.2 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,260-point plateau and it's expected to open in the green again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside thanks to a bump is crude oil prices and optimism ahead of quarterly earnings. The European and U.S. markets were up om Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.

The STI finished modestly higher on Friday following mixed performances from the financials, plantations and properties.

For the day, the index gained 7.34 points or 0.23 percent to finish at 3,260.35 after trading between 3,251.85 and 3,265.92. Volume was 1.72 billion shares worth 917.5 billion Singapore dollars. There were 225 gainers and 154 decliners.

Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources surged 5.66 percent, while Hutchison Port Holdings soared 1.82 percent, Thai Beverage plummeted 1.37 percent, Comfort DelGro plunged 1.26 percent, DBS Group spiked 0.96 percent, Genting Singapore climbed 0.80 percent, SembCorp Industries tumbled 0.75 percent, Wilmar International dropped 0.66 percent, SingTel fell 0.61 percent, United Overseas Bank shed 0.49 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust added 0.47 percent, Ascendas REIT lost 0.37 percent and CapitaLand, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Friday, although the NASDAQ hit a fresh record high and the S&P 500 reached its best closing level in five months.

The Dow rose 94.52 points or 0.38 percent to 25,019.41, the NASDAQ added 2.06 points or 0.03 percent to 7,825.98 and the S&P 500 gained 3.02 points or 0.11 percent to 2,801.31. For the week, the Dow surged 2.3 percent, the NASDAQ jumped 1.8 percent and the S&P climbed 1.5 percent.

The choppy trading came as traders hesitated to make significant moves following the considerable volatility of the past few sessions. Traders also digested mixed quarterly results from financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

In economic news, the Federal Reserve delivered its semi-annual monetary policy to Congress, calling economic growth in the first half of the year solid and reiterating it expects further increases in interest rates.

The University of Michigan noted a decrease in consumer sentiment in July due to concerns about potential impact of tariffs. The Labor Department note a drop in import prices in June but a slightly bigger than expected increase in export prices.

Energy stocks saw some strength amid a rebound by the price of crude oil, while weakness was visible in the telecom and banking sectors.

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