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Singapore Stock Market May Claim 3,200-Point Plateau

The Singapore stock market has climbed higher in two straight sessions, nearly 35 points or 1.1 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just shy of the 3,195-point plateau and it's tipped to open in the green again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on solid economic data and a spike in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were firmly higher on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow that lead.

The STI finished solidly higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, property stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index advanced 20.52 points or 0.65 percent to finish at 3,194.71 after trading between 3,171.51 and 3,194.71. Volume was 1 billion shares worth 1.19 billion Singapore dollars. There were 183 gainers and 171 decliners.

Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources plummeted 4.35 percent, while Mapletree Commercial Trust surged 2.60 percent, SembCorp Industries soared 2.33 percent, CapitaLand spiked 1.65 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust accelerated 1.51 percent, Keppel Corp jumped 1.04 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding climbed 0.91 percent, Singapore Exchange advanced 0.90 percent, Comfort DelGro gathered 0.83 percent, Singapore Press Holdings perked 0.71 percent, SingTel added 0.59 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.56 percent, Thai Beverage gained 0.56 percent, Genting Singapore rose 0.55 percent, Wilmar International increased 0.49 percent, DBS Group was up 0.44 percent, United Overseas Bank gained 0.43 percent and Ascendas REIT perked 0.33 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks moved sharply higher on Friday as the major averages extended recent gains.

The Dow jumped 337.26 points or 1.22 percent to 28,015.06, while the NASDAQ climbed 85.83 points or 1.00 percent to 8,656.53 and the S&P 500 rose 28.48 points or 0.91 percent to 3,145.91. For the week, the Dow and NASDAQ fell 0.1 percent and the S&P added 0.2 percent.

The rally on Wall Street came after the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report showed much stronger than expected U.S. job growth in November - while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent.

Adding to the positive sentiment, preliminary data released by the University of Michigan showed a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in December.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed on further output curbs. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.77 or 1.3 percent at $59.20 a barrel, the highest settlement since September 17.

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