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Singapore Shares Figure To Remain Rangebound

The Singapore stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 10 points or 0.3 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,255-point plateau although it's likely to bounce higher again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside after the U.S. and China signed phase one of their trade deal - although the upside had already largely been priced in. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were slightly higher and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished modestly lower on Wednesday as losses from the financial shares and industrials were tempered by support from the property sector.

For the day, the index lost 13.56 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 3,256.98 after trading between 3,252.02 and 3,276.00.

Among the actives, Wilmar International plummeted 2.97 percent, while Mapletree Logistics Trust surged 2.25 percent, City Developments plunged 1.93 percent, Thai Beverage soared 1.74 percent, SembCorp Industries tumbled 1.30 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation skidded 1.08 percent, Singapore Press Holdings retreated 0.93 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding declined 0.85 percent, CapitaLand sank 0.76 percent, Hongkong Land jumped 0.70 percent, DBS Group dropped 0.65 percent, United Overseas Bank shed 0.63 percent, Comfort DelGro lost 0.44 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust climbed 0.40 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust advanced 0.39 percent, Ascendas REIT added 0.32 percent, SingTel gained 0.31 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering fell 0.24 percent, Keppel Corp slid 0.15 percent, Singapore Exchange eased 0.11 percent and CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Genting Singapore were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks opened higher on Wednesday, faded as the day progressed but still ended in the green.

The Dow added 90.55 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 29,030.22, while the NASDAQ gained 7.37 points or 0.08 percent to 9,258.70 and the S&P 500 rose 6.14 points or 0.19 percent to 3,289.29.

The early strength on Wall Street came as traders awaited the signing of the trade deal between the U.S. and China. But stocks pulled back after the agreement was signed in a ceremony at the White House.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a modest increase in U.S. producer prices in December. Also, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book said U.S. economic activity generally continued to expand modestly in the final six weeks of 2019.

Crude oil prices drifted lower and settled at a six-week low on Wednesday after data showed a big increase in gasoline and distillate stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures (WTI) for February ended down $0.42 or 0.7 percent at $57.81 a barrel.

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