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Additional Support Predicted For Singapore Shares

The Singapore stock market bounced higher again on Wednesday, one session after it had ended the three-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 25 points or 0.7 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,245-point plateau and it's tipped to open higher again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains upbeat on optimism that another U.S. government shutdown can be avoided. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are predicted to open in similar fashion.

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

For the day, the index jumped 43.62 points or 1.36 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,244.77 after moving as low as 3,219.77. Volume was 1.29 billion shares worth 1.23 billion Singapore dollars. There were 223 gainers and 191 decliners.

Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources surged 4.00 percent, while Hutchison Port Holdings plummeted 3.85 percent, SembCorp Industries soared 3.15 percent, United Overseas Bank spiked 2.45 percent, DBS Group jumped 2.30 percent, Comfort DelGro climbed 2.15 percent, Keppel Corp advanced 1.82 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 1.39 percent, Singapore Exchange perked 1.32 percent, Genting Singapore gathered 0.92 percent, CapitaLand added 0.91 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding gained 0.71 percent, Thai Beverage rose 0.69 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust shed 0.53 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust lost 0.42 percent, Wilmar International was up 0.31 percent and SingTel and Ascendas REIT were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks saw considerable volatility on Wednesday but still finished in the green as the major averages hit fresh two-month closing highs.

The Dow added 117.51 points or 0.46 percent to 25,543.27, while the NASDAQ gained 5.76 points or 0.08 percent to 7,420.38 and the S&P 500 rose 8.30 points or 0.30 percent to 2,753.03.

The higher close on Wall Street partly reflected optimism about avoiding another government shutdown thanks to a tentative deal reached by lawmakers.

The markets also benefited from continued optimism about U.S.-China trade talks after reports the U.S. may delay raising tariffs on Chinese goods if the two sides are close to a deal.

In economic news, the Labor Department said consumer prices were unchanged for the third straight month in January.

Crude oil extended gains Wednesday, reflecting optimism about U.S.-China trade talks and the cut in production revealed by Saudi Arabia. Crude for March delivery advanced $0.80 to $53.90 a barrel.

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