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Renewed Selling Pressure Called For Singapore Bourse

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in two of three sessions since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 40 points or 1.3 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just shy of the 3,200-point plateau although it may tick lower again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat with a touch of weakness on global trade concerns. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished slightly higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares, property stocks and plantations.

For the day, the index added 2.33 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 3,197.92 after trading between 3,183.64 and 3,204.36. Volume was 850.89 million shares worth 1.01 billion Singapore dollars. There were 214 gainers and 166 decliners.

Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources surged 3.70 percent, while Hongkong Land soared 2.27 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings spiked 2.13 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding jumped 2.11 percent, Thai Beverage climbed 1.86 percent, Singapore Press advanced 1.24 percent, Comfort DelGro tumbled 1.21 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust added 1.02 percent, SingTel rose 1.01 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust skidded 0.84 percent, Ascendas REIT gained 0.71 percent, Singapore Exchange perked 0.69 percent, Wilmar International gathered 0.61 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.60 percent, CapitaLand added 0.58 percent, DBS Group climbed 0.52 percent, Keppel Corp dipped 0.16 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation rose 0.09 percent and SembCorp Industries and Genting Singapore were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack or direction on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending the session mixed.

The Dow added 7.05 points or 0.03 percent to 25,709, while the NASDAQ fell 12.50 points or 0.16 percent to 7,630.91 and the S&P 500 lost 2.44 points or 0.09 percent to 2,808.48.

The choppy trading on Wall Street followed uncertainty about Brexit, with members of parliament voting in favor of delaying Brexit after they rejected the idea of leaving the European Union without a deal.

Renewed concerns about a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China weighed on the markets after reports said a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping has been pushed back.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department reported a substantial pullback in new home sales in January. A separate report from the Labor Department showed U.S. import and export prices both rose more than anticipated in February.

Crude oil prices edged higher Thursday, extending gains to a fourth successive session, on data that showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended up $0.35 or 0.6 percent at $58.61 a barrel, a fresh high since mid-November.

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