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Additional Support Anticipated For Singapore Shares

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in two of three days since the end of the two-day slide in which it had stumbled almost 35 points or 1 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,250-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on easing geopolitical concerns in the Middle East. The European and U.S. markets finished higher and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished barely higher on Thursday following gains from the financials and a mixed picture from the properties.

For the day, the index rose 1.59 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 3,247.48 after trading between 3,243.10 and 3,262.72. Volume was 1.91 billion shares worth 1.37 billion Singapore dollars. There were 257 gainers and 166 decliners.

Among the actives, Singapore Exchange surged 2.56 percent, while CapitaLand Commercial Trust soared 1.48 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering tumbled 0.98 percent, SingTel skidded 0.88 percent, Comfort DelGro dropped 0.87 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding spiked 0.86 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust accelerated 0.81 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust sank 0.57 percent, Thai Beverage advanced 0.57 percent, DBS Group collected 0.51 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust added 0.41 percent, Ascendas REIT gained 0.33 percent, United Overseas Bank rose 0.26 percent, CapitaLand shed 0.26 percent, Wilmar International lost 0.23 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation increased 0.18 percent and Keppel Corp, Genting Singapore and SembCorp Industries were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks saw continued upside on Thursday, propelling the major averages to fresh record closing highs.

The Dow added 212.08 points or 0.74 percent to 28,957.17, while the NASDAQ gained 74.18 points or 0.81 percent to 9,203.43 and the S&P 500 rose 21.65 points or 0.67 percent to 3,274.70.

Easing concerns about the conflict between the U.S. and Iran contributed to the continued strength on Wall Street amid signs of de-escalation.

Nonetheless, overall trading activity was subdued ahead of the release of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report later today.

Crude oil futures settled near four-week lows on Thursday as higher U.S. crude inventories and easing worries about U.S.-Iran standoff pushed prices down for a second straight session. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $0.05 or 0.03 percent at $59.56 a barrel, off the session's low of $58.66 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will provide November numbers for retail sales later today; in October, sales were down 2.2 percent on month and 4.3 percent on year.

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