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Singapore Bourse May Spin Its Wheels On Wednesday

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in back-to-back trading days, gathering more than 20 points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,135-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are predicted to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday as gains from the properties were capped by weakness from the financials and plantations.

For the day, the index gained 7.50 points or 0.24 percent to finish at 3,135.95 after trading between 3,122.65 and 3,141.58. Volume was 1.29 billion shares worth 958.86 million Singapore dollars. There were 192 decliners and 183 gainers.

Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding plummeted 3.96 percent, while CapitaLand surged 2.02 percent, Golden Agri-Resources plunged 1.72 percent, Hongkong Land soared 1.56 percent, Ascendas REIT spiked 0.99 percent, Singapore Exchange jumped 0.98 percent, SingTel climbed 0.94 percent, Wilmar International tumbled 0.79 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust advanced 0.76 percent, United Overseas Bank lost 0.64 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings skidded 0.55 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust added 0.48 percent, SembCorp Industries gained 0.45 percent, Keppel Corp rose 0.34 percent, Comfort DelGro was up 0.20 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation lost 0.19 percent, DBS Group dipped 0.16 percent and Genting Singapore and Singapore Airlines were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks fluctuated on Tuesday before coming under pressure in the afternoon to finish in the red.

The Dow shed 173.35 points or 0.66 percent to 25,962.44, while the NASDAQ lost 54.25 points or 0.68 percent to 7,948.56 and the S&P fell 23.14 points or 0.79 percent to 2,900.51.

The weakness on Wall Street came amid a pullback by bond yields, which moved back to the downside following the rebound on Monday and Friday.

Traders also expressed some uncertainty ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting later today. The minutes, along with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech on Friday, may shed additional light on the outlook for interest rates.

The Fed cut interest rates by 25 basis points last month and CME Group's FedWatch tool currently indicates a 95 percent chance of another 25 basis point rate cut in September.

Negative sentiment was also generated by comments from President Donald Trump once again threatening to impose tariffs on European auto imports.

Crude oil futures ended marginally higher Tuesday on China's interest rate reforms and expectations of more stimulus from global central banks. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for September expired at $56.34 a barrel, gaining $0.13 or 0.2 percent. WTI oil futures for October settled at $56.13 a barrel.

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