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Singapore Shares May Take Further Damage In Monday

The Singapore stock market headed south again on Friday, one day after it had ended the two-day slide in which it had lost almost 20 points or 0.6 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,195-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on falling crude oil prices and disappointing economic data. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished sharply lower on Friday following losses form the financials, properties, plantations and industrials.

For the day, the index sank 33.61 points or 1.04 percent to finish at 3,195.87 after trading between 3,192.71 and 3,215.23. Volume was 1.11 billion shares worth 1.04 billion Singapore dollars. There were 267 decliners and 143 gainers.

Among the actives, Hutchison Port Holdings plummeted 4.26 percent, while Singapore Airlines plunged 2.31 percent, SembCorp Industries tumbled 2.28 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding skidded 2.11 percent, Singapore Exchange retreated 2.02 percent, Golden Agri-Resources declined 1.79 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust contracted 1.52 percent, Keppel Corp dropped 1.45 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation shed 1.34 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust lost 1.25 percent, Thai Beverage fell 1.24 percent, Comfort DelGro sank 1.23 percent, Ascendas REIT eased 1.06 percent, United Overseas Bank and DBS Group both were down 1.03 percent, SingTel slid 1.01 percent and Genting Singapore was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks opened lower Friday, came off session lows as the day progressed but still ended slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 22.99 points or 009 percent to 25.450.24, while the NASDAQ lost 13.32 points or 0.18 percent to 7,408.14 and the S&P 500 fell 5.86 points or 0.21 percent to 2,743.07. For the week, the Dow and the S&P both slumped 2.2 percent, while the NASDAQ tumbled 2.5 percent.

The initial weakness on Wall Street came after the Labor Department said job growth nearly ground to a halt in February after soaring in January. The much weaker than expected job growth in February represented the worst month since September 2017

Concerns about the global economy also weighed on the markets after the European Central Bank downgraded its GDP forecasts and China reported weaker than expected trade data for February.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Friday as worries about demand growth resurfaced on data showing weak jobs growth in the U.S. and a sharp plunge in Chinese exports. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.59 or 1 percent at $56.07 a barrel.

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