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Renewed Selling Pressure Tipped For Singapore Shares

The Singapore stock market on Thursday snapped the two-day slide in which it had eased just 5 points or 0.15 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,200-point plateau although it figures to head south again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly lower on global growth concerns and sliding oil prices. The European and U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.

The STI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financials, while the industrials and properties were mixed.

For the day, the index added 16.08 points or 0.50 percent to finish at 3,200.64 after trading between 3,194.18 and 3,215.90. Volume was 818.19 million shares worth 920.13 million Singapore dollars. There were 205 gainers and 138 decliners.

Among the actives, Thai Beverage plummeted 4.55 percent, while Golden Agri-Resources surged 2.00 percent, Comfort DelGro soared 1.72 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding spiked 1.42 percent, Ascendas REIT jumped 1.11 percent, SingTel climbed 0.99 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation advanced 0.97 percent, CapitaLand perked 0.90 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust skidded 0.84 percent, SembCorp Industries dropped 0.78 percent, DBS Group collected 0.62 percent, Wilmar International added 0.30 percent, Keppel Corp dipped 0.17 percent, United Overseas Bank rose 0.12 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, Singapore Airlines, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Genting Singapore were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is weak as stocks opened lower on Thursday and crept further into the red as the day progressed - extending losses from the previous session.

The Dow shed 220.77 points or 0.87 percent to 25,169, while the NASDAQ lost 86.93 points or 1.18 percent to 7,288.93 and the S&P 500 fell 25.56 points or 0.94 percent to 2,706.05.

Renewed concerns about a U.S.-China trade deal generated selling pressure after reports said President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are "highly unlikely" to meet before March 2 - when tariffs on Chinese goods are set to jump automatically.

Worries about the U.S.-China trade talks added to concerns about the global economy after the European Commission lowered its eurozone growth forecast. The downgrade reflected external factors, such as trade tensions, the uncertainty concerning Brexit and the slowdown in emerging markets, notably in China.

Crude oil prices declined on Thursday on concerns of demand growth due to the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $1.37 or 2.5 percent at $52.64 a barrel, the lowest settlement in more than a week.

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