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Singapore Shares Expected To Remain Rangebound

The Singapore stock market on Friday snapped the three-day winning streak in which it had collected more than 65 points or 2.1 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,145-point plateau and it figures to hold steady in that neighborhood again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky after disappointing U.S. employment data renewed concerns for the world's largest economy, although it also sparked hope for more interest rate cuts in the near term. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly lower on Friday following mixed performances from the property stocks and industries, while the financials offered support.

For the day, the index eased 2.58 points or 0.08 percent to finish at 3,144.48 after trading between 3,143.53 and 3,166.07. Volume was 897.04 million shares worth 1.01 billion Singapore dollars. There were 208 gainers and 158 decliners.

Among the actives, City Developments surged 2.44 percent, while Ascendas REIT plummeted 2.18 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding soared 1.55 percent, CapitaLand spiked 1.42 percent, Comfort DelGro jumped 1.20 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust tumbled 1.11 percent, Singapore Press Holdings and Keppel Corp both climbed 1.02 percent, United Overseas Bank advanced 0.95 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust skidded 0.91 percent, Wilmar International added 0.78 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.74 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings dropped 0.64 percent, Singapore Exchange shed 0.59 percent, Genting Singapore gained 0.56 percent, Thai Beverage lost 0.56 percent, DBS Group rose 0.53 percent, Singapore Technologies was up 0.51 percent, SembCorp Industries perked 0.47 percent, SingTel fell 0.31 percent and Golden Agri-Resources was unchanged.

The from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks bounced back and forth across the unchanged line Friday before closing mixed.

The Dow added 69.31 points or 0.26 percent to 26,797.46, while the NASDAQ fell 13.75 points or 0.17 percent to 8,103.07 and the S&P 500 rose 2.71points or 0.09 percent to 2,978.71. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.5 percent and the NASDAQ and S&P both gained 1.8 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street followed the release of a closely watched Labor Department report showing weaker than expected job growth in August. But the report also said average hourly employee earnings climbed $0.11 to $28.11 in August following 9-cent gains in June and July.

Traders shrugged off comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who argued the central bank has helped keep the economy on solid ground amid the uncertainty caused by President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Despite the uncertainty cause by the trade war, Powell noted the Fed does not currently anticipate a recession since the labor market and consumer spending remain strong.

Crude oil futures moved higher on Friday after a report from Baker Hughes showed the oil rig count dropped for a third straight week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended up $0.22 or 0.4 percent at $56.52 a barrel.

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