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Singapore Bourse May Bounce Higher On Friday

The Singapore stock market headed south again on Thursday, one day after it had ended the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 50 points or 1.6 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,125-point plateau although it's likely to rebound on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic as Thursday's selloff on recession fears may have been overdone. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mostly higher - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the financials and industrials were mitigated by support from the property sector.

For the day, the index sank 21.51 points or 0.68 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,126.09 after moving as low as 3,084.08. Volume was 1.28 billion shares worth 1.44 billion Singapore dollars. There were 258 decliners and 156 gainers.

Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding cratered 17.31 percent, while Thai Beverage skyrocketed 9.04 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering plummeted 3.55 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings plunged 2.69 percent, SingTel surged 2.22 percent, Wilmar International tumbled 2.07 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust soared 1.97 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust spiked 1.92 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation skidded 1.38 percent, DBS Group dropped 1.16 percent, Genting Singapore retreated 1.14 percent, Comfort DelGro climbed 0.80 percent, United Overseas Bank shed 0.79 percent, Keppel Corp lost 0.67 percent, Singapore Exchange fell 0.60 percent, CapitaLand slid 0.29 percent and Ascendas REIT, SembCorp Industries, Golden Agri-Resources, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Press Holdings all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing mixed.

The Dow added 99.97 points or 0.39 percent to 25,579.39, while the NASDAQ fell 7.32 points or 0.09 percent to 7,766.62 and the S&) 500 rose 7.00 points or 0.25 percent to 2,847.60.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders digested an avalanche of economic data, including mixed reports on retail sales and industrial output.

The Commerce Department reported U.S. retail sales climbed by much more than expected in July, but the Federal Reserve unexpectedly noted a modest drop in industrial production in July.

Also, the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserves saw continued growth in manufacturing activity in August, while the Labor Department reported a bigger than expected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil prices saw further downside on Thursday, extending losses from the previous day on continued concerns about the outlook for global demand. China's threat to retaliate against U.S. tariffs weighed heavily on oil prices as West Texas Intermediate fell $0.48 or 0.87 percent to $54.47.

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