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Bargain Hunters May Lift Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in three straight sessions, sliding almost 45 points or 1.4 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,330-point plateau although it may find traction on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat on concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished slightly lower on Tuesday following losses from the plantations, properties and industrials - while the financials came in mixed.

For the day, the index dipped 4.77 points or 0.14 percent to finish at 3,329.46 after trading between 3,322.75 and 3,349.61. Volume was 1.22 billion shares worth 1.15 billion Singapore dollars. There were 218 decliners and 186 gainers.

Among the actives, Venture Corporation plummeted 4.40 percent, while CapitaLand Commercial Trust plunged 3.54 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust tumbled 2.95 percent, Comfort DelGro soared 2.53 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings skidded 2.22 percent, Golden Agri-Resources retreated 1.67 percent, Ascendas REIT declined 1.29 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering advanced 0.95 percent, SembCorp Industries contracted 0.83 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.80 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding sank 0.67 percent, Thai Beverage and United Overseas Bank both added 0.58 percent, SingTel fell 0.57 percent, Keppel Corp shed 0.31 percent, CapitaLand gained 0.27 percent, Wilmar International lost 0.26 percent, DBS Group slid 0.20 percent and Singapore Exchange and Genting Singapore were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks opened lower on Tuesday but recovered to finish mixed.

The Dow shed 22.65 points or 0.08 percent to 26,783.49, while the NASDAQ added 43.35 points or 0.54 percent to 8,141.73 and the S&P 500 rose 3.68 points or 0.12 percent to 2,979.63.

Traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of Congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later today. The Fed chief is not likely to specifically lay out the central bank's plans to lawmakers, but traders will analyze his comments for clues about the outlook for rates.

Wednesday will also see the release of the minutes of the Fed's last monetary policy meeting, which may shed additional light on the central bank's decision to make notable changes to its accompanying statement.

Crude oil futures settled higher Tuesday as traders weighed crude demand and supply prospects ahead of weekly inventory data. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $57.83 a barrel.

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