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Singapore Shares May Find Renewed Support

The Singapore stock market headed south again on Wednesday, one session after it had ended the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 40 points or 1.3 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,195-point plateau although it's poised to rebound on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside on sound economic data and a spike in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the financial shares and property stocks.

For the day, the index lost 16.66 points or 0.52 percent to finish at 3,195.59 after trading between 3,183.72 and 3,209.05. Volume was 817.48 million shares worth 1.05 billion Singapore dollars. There were 221 decliners and 176 gainers.

Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources plummeted 3.57 percent, while DBS Group plunged 1.30 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust tumbled 1.24 percent, Comfort DelGro jumped 1.23 percent, Singapore Exchange skidded 1.22 percent, CapitaLand dropped 1.15 percent, Genting Singapore retreated 0.98 percent, SembCorp Industries declined 0.78 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding advanced 0.71 percent, Wilmar International added 0.62 percent, United Overseas Bank and City Developments both sank 0.56 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust shed 0.51 percent, SingTel gained 0.34 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.09 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, Singapore Press, Thai Beverage, Singapore Technologies and Ascendas REIT all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher on Wednesday. The major averages gave ground as the day progressed but still finished firmly in the green.

The Dow added 148.23 points or 0.58 percent to 25,702.89, while the NASDAQ gained 52.37 points or 0.69 percent to 7,643.41 and the S&P 500 rose 19.40 points or 0.69 percent to 2,810.92.

The strength on Wall Street reflected a positive reaction to a Commerce Department report showing an unexpected increase in durable goods orders in January. Also, the Labor Department noted a modest increase in producer prices in February.

Oil prices rallied sharply on Wednesday after data showed U.S. crude inventories dropped last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended up $1.39 or 2.4 percent at $58.26 a barrel, the highest settlement in four months.

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