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Singapore Shares May Take Further Damage On Monday

The Singapore stock market headed south again on Friday, one session after it had ended the two-day slide in which it had fallen almost 5 points or 0.2 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,365-point plateau and it's expected to extend its losses on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on pessimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down Friday and now the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished slightly lower on Friday as losses from the financials were mitigated by support from the properties and a mixed picture from the plantations.

For the day, the index slipped 5.44 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 3,366.81 after trading between 3,353.32 and 3,380.68. Volume was 1.34 billion shares worth 1.23 billion Singapore dollars. There were 219 gainers and 204 decliners.

Among the actives, Thai Beverage surged 3.59 percent, while Golden Agri-Resources plummeted 3.28 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust soared 1.77 percent, DBS Group plunged 1.65 percent, Wilmar International spiked 1.60 percent, Genting Singapore jumped 1.10 percent, Comfort DelGro climbed 1.09 percent, Ascendas REIT advanced 0.95 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation tumbled 0.87 percent, SingTel added 0.85 percent, CapitaLand gained 0.81 percent, United Overseas Bank skidded 0.79 percent, Keppel Corp dropped 0.60 percent, Singapore Exchange shed 0.25 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, SembCorp Industries, City Developments and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower Friday, recovered as the day progressed but still ended in the red.

The Dow shed 43.88 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 26,922.12, while the NASDAQ lost 8.44 points or 0.10 percent to 8,161.79 and the S&P 500 fell 5.41 points or 0.18 percent to 2,990.41. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.2 percent, the NASDAQ surged 1.9 percent and the S&P rose 1.7 percent.

The early pullback followed the release of the Labor Department report showing a substantial growth in U.S. employment in June. While the data points to a rebound in the labor market, the report dampened investor hopes for a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

Oil futures settled modestly higher on Friday but saw a loss of 1.6 percent for the week as traders continued to weigh the commodity's near-term supply and demand prospects. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended up $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $57.51 a barrel.

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