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Singapore Stock Market May Add To Its Winnings

The Singapore stock market has ticked higher in back-to-back trading days, gathering more than a dozen points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index remains just above the 3,325-point plateau and it may extend its gains on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic on optimism over interest rates and a mild bump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher and the Asian markets are tipped to follow suit.

The STI finished barely higher on Wednesday as gains from the properties were limited by mixed performances from the financials, properties and plantations.

For the day, the index gained 2.05 points or 0.06 percent to finish at 3,327.65 after trading between 3,316.92 and 3,333.18. Volume was 1.05 billion shares worth 1 billion Singapore dollars. There were 197 gainers and 183 decliners.

Among the actives, Singapore Press plummeted 2.37 percent, while Hutchison Port Holdings surged 2.13 percent, Golden Agri-Resources plunged 1.56 percent, Singapore Exchange tumbled 0.81 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding sank 0.61 percent, Genting Singapore dropped 0.52 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust jumped 0.51 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust climbed 0.42 percent, Comfort DelGro advanced 0.38 percent, Ascendas REIT added 0.34 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation shed 0.34 percent, SingTel gained 0.32 percent, Wilmar International rose 0.29 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.23 percent, DBS Group eased 0.11 percent and CapitaLand, Thai Beverage, SembCorp Industries and Keppel Corp were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild upside as stocks moved slightly higher on Wednesday amid subdued buying interest.

The Dow added 6.58 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 26,157.16, while the NASDAQ gained 54.96 points or 0.69 percent to 7,964.24 and the S&P 500 rose 10.01 points or 0.35 percent to 2,888.21.

The higher close on Wall Street came after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting suggested the outlook for interest rates remains fluid. However, future rate decisions would depend on ongoing assessments of the economic outlook and potential risks.

In economic news, the Labor Department said that a spike in energy prices contributed to a slightly bigger than expected increase in consumer prices in March.

Crude oil futures settled higher Wednesday as a sharp decline in U.S. gasoline stocks offset a surge in crude stockpiles last week. Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.63 or 0.98 percent at $64.61 a barrel.

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