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Singapore Bourse Due For Support On Friday

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in four straight sessions, sliding almost 55 points or 1.7 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,160-point plateau although it may stop the bleeding on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat with a touch of upside on concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished modestly lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares and industrials.

For the day, the index fell 8.04 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 3,158.80 after trading between 3,158.11 and 3,179.72. Volume was 845.89 million shares worth 872.93 million Singapore dollars. There were 193 decliners and 163 gainers.

Among the actives, Hutchison Port Holdings skyrocketed 8.75 percent, while Golden Agro-Resources plummeted 3.92 percent, SembCorp Industries plunged 1.38 percent, Genting Singapore soared 1.12 percent, Wilmar International tumbled 1.04 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering skidded 1.01 percent, Keppel Corp retreated 0.81 percent, United Overseas Bank declined 0.77 percent, Thai Beverage climbed 0.56 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation shed 0.37 percent, Singapore Exchange added 0.24 percent, DBS Group lost 0.21 percent and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Hongkong Land, CapitaLand Mall Trust, Ascendas REIT, SingTel, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Singapore Press Holdings, Comfort DelGro and CapitaLand all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks opened higher on Thursday before giving ground later in the day, ending mixed and roughly flat.

The Dow fell 52.29 points or 0.19 percent to 27,094, while the NASDAQ rose 5.49 points or 0.07 percent to 8,182.88 and the S&P 500 added 0.06 points to end at 3,000.79.

The lackluster close on Wall Street came amid continued uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

The Fed lowered interest rates by 25 basis points as expected but indicated officials are mixed about whether the central bank should cut rates again before the end of the year.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a modest rebound in initial jobless claims last week, while the Philadelphia Federal Reserve saw a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in September.

Crude oil futures settled just marginally up on Thursday, despite moving up sharply early on in the session on continued geopolitical concerns. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended up by 2 cents at $58.13 a barrel.

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