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Singapore Market Figures To Spin Its Wheels On Friday

The Singapore stock market ticked higher again on Thursday, one session after it had ended the two-day winning streak in which if had collected more than 20 points or 0.6 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,125-point plateau and it figures to hold steady in that neighborhood again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower ahead of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech later today at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly higher on Thursday as gains from the financial shares were offset by weakness from the properties and weakness from the industrials.

For the day, the index gained 5.17 points or 0.17 percent to finish at 3,127.74 after trading between 3,123.77 and 3,135.25. Volume was 1.42 billion shares worth 955.15 million Singapore dollars. There were 190 gainers and 190 decliners.

Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding plummeted 3.63 percent, while SingTel surged 1.57 percent, Hongkong Land Holdings plunged 1.55 percent, SembCorp Industries tumbled 1.33 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings skidded 1.12 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering jumped 1.01 percent, Singapore Press Holdings dropped 0.93 percent, CapitaLand sank 0.86 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust shed 0.76 percent, Ascendas REIT lost 0.65 percent, Singapore Exchange fell 0.60 percent, Genting Singapore slid 0.56 percent, Thai Beverage climbed 0.54 percent, Wilmar International advanced 0.52 percent, Comfort DelGro added 0.41 percent, Keppel Corp gained 0.34 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.28 percent, United Overseas Bank rose 0.24 percent, DBS Group was up 0.04 percent and CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Golden Agri-Resources and Singapore Airlines were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks failed to sustain an early move to the upside on Thursday and showed a lack of direction before finishing mixed.

The Dow added 49.51 points or 0.19 percent to 26,252.24, while the NASDAQ lost 28.82 points or 0.36 percent to 7,991.39 and the S&P 500 fell 1.48 points or 0.05 percent to 2,922.95.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid another inversion of the yield curve, with the yield on the two-year note briefly dropping below the yield on the ten-year note after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting failed to provide much clarity about the outlook for interest rates.

In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by much more than expected last week. Also, the Conference Board said its leading U.S. economic indicators rose by much more than anticipated in July.

Crude oil prices edged lower Thursday on concerns about the outlook for near-term energy demand due to a slowing global economy. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended down $0.33 or 0.6 percent at $55.35 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will see July figures for consumer prices later today; in June, inflation was down 0.2 percent on month and up 0.6 percent on year.

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