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Rally May Stall For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, gathering almost 25 points or 0.7 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,205-point plateau although it may be stuck in Neutral on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amid uncertainty about the outlook for global trade, while weakness in crude oil prices is likely to cap any upside. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished slightly higher on Monday following gains from the financials, weakness from the industrials and a mixed bag from the plantation stocks.

For the day, the index gathered 4.23 points or 0.13 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,206.27 after moving as low as 3,174.00. Volume was 1.55 billion shares worth 1.06 billion Singapore dollars. There were 196 decliners and 190 gainers.

Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding plummeted 2,76 percent, while Genting Singapore plunged 2.70 percent, City Developments surged 2.40 percent, Golden Agri-Resources soared 2.00 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings tumbled 1.92 percent, Thai Beverage skidded 1.39 percent, Wilmar International dropped 0.91 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust shed 0.53 percent, Keppel Corp lost 0.50 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.44 percent, United Overseas Bank added 0.40 percent, Ascendas REIT fell 0.36 percent, SingTel slid 0.33 percent, DBS Group rose 0.25 percent and CapitaLand and SembCorp were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street provides little guidance as stocks showed a lack of direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow shed 53.22 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 25,053.11, while the NASDAQ added 9.71 points or 0.13 percent to 7,307.90 and the S&P rose 1.92 points or 0.07 percent to 2,709.80.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid uncertainty ahead of the next round of trade talks between the U.S. and China due to take place later this week as the world's two largest economies try to make a deal before an early March deadline.

A jump in tariffs on Chinese goods is currently set to take effect at that time, although they could be delayed if talks between U.S. and Chinese officials continue to make progress toward a trade deal.

Crude oil prices recovered from early weakness on Monday but still settled lower as weak global growth outlook raised concerns about energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.31 or 0.6 percent at $52.41 a barrel, well off the day's low of $51.23.

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