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Singapore Stock Market May Extend Its Gains

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, advancing almost 60 points or 1.9 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,200-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on optimism for a resolution in the trade wat between the United States and China. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are predicted to follow that lead.

The STI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares and industrial issues, while the properties and plantations were mixed.

For the day, the index soared 48.81 points or 1.55 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,204.52 after moving as low as 3,165.74. Volume was 1.45 billion shares worth 1.41 billion Singapore dollars. There were 238 gainers and 157 decliners.

Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 4.95 percent, while Hongkong Land Holdings soared 3.88 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings spiked 3.31 percent, SembCorp Industries accelerated 2.79 percent, Singapore Press Holdings jumped 2.45 percent, United Overseas Bank climbed 2.33 percent, Golden Agri-Resources advanced 1.89 percent, Keppel Corp gathered 1.80 percent, Thai Beverage perked 1.69 percent, Singapore Exchange added 1.65 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 1.38 percent, Wilmar International gained 1.32 percent, Comfort DelGro rose 1.22 percent, DBS Group was up 1.20 percent, Genting Singapore climbed 1.13 percent, CapitaLand gained 1.12 percent, Singapore Technologies added 0.77 percent, Singapore Airlines lost 0.66 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust sank 0.47 percent, SingTel fell 0.31 percent and CapitaLand Mall Trust was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks opened higher on Wednesday and continued to rise as the day progressed, sending the major averages to their best closing levels in a month.

The Dow added 227.61 points or 0.85 percent to 27,137.04, while the NASDAQ spiked 85.52 points or 1.06 percent to 8,169.68 and the S&P 500 rose 21.54 points or 0.72 percent to 3,000.93.

The strength on Wall Street came following news that China is granting tariff exemptions for 16 types of American-made products as a sign of goodwill ahead of the next round of trade talks.

Stocks also benefited from optimism about new global stimulus ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision later today as well as next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

Crude oil prices declined sharply Wednesday on a downward revision in OPEC's oil demand forecast and speculation that the U.S. may ease sanctions on Iran. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $1.65 or 2.9 percent at $55.75 a barrel, the lowest settlement since September 3.

Closer to home, Singapore will see July data for retail sales later today; in June, sales were down 2.2 percent on month and 8.9 percent on year.

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