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Singapore Stock Market May See Additional Support

The Singapore stock market on Friday ended the three-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 90 points or 3.5 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 2,525-point plateau and it may pick up steam on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside on optimism that some countries are taking steps to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday amid considerable volatility and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The STI finished barely higher on Friday as gains from the financial shares and property stocks were capped by weakness from the industrials.

For the day, the index was up 1.24 point or 0.05 percent to finish Friday at 2,523.55 after trading between 2,516.66 and 2,546.34. Volume was 1.78 billion shares worth 1.24 billion Singapore dollars. There were 212 decliners and 211 gainers.

Among the actives, SATS plummeted 4.38 percent, while Comfort DelGro plunged 2.67 percent, Singapore Airlines surged 2.36 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding tanked 2.14 percent, SembCorp Industries tumbled 1.96 percent, Singapore Press Holdings skidded 1.35 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering retreated 1.21 percent, Wilmar International declined 1.03 percent, Thai Beverage jumped 0.75 percent, Ascendas REIT climbed 0.69 percent, Genting Singapore advanced 0.68 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust gathered 0.67 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust perked 0.56 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust added 0.55 percent, CapitaLand gained 0.35 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and Keppel Corp both rose 0.34 percent, DBS Group collected 0.21 percent, Singapore Exchange increased 0.10 percent and CapitaLand Mall Trust, United Overseas Bank and SingTel were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks saw considerable volatility Friday after coming under pressure early in the session. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually ending higher.

The Dow added 60.08 points or 0.25 percent to 23,685.42, while the NASDAQ climbed 70.84 points or 0.79 percent to 9,014.56 and the S&P 500 rose 11.20 points or 0.39 percent to 2,863.70. For the week, the Dow shed 2.7 percent, the S&P fell 2.3 percent and the NASDAQ lost 1.2 percent.

The higher close on Wall Street came as traders shrugged off some dismal U.S. economic data, including reports showing record decreases in retail sales and industrial production in April.

Concerns about the economy were offset by a University of Michigan report showing an unexpected improvement in consumer sentiment in May, as well as ongoing plans for states and countries to reopen.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Friday, extending recent gains amid hopes for some gains in energy demand, and on hopes the output cuts from major producers will support prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up $1.87 or 6.8 percent at $29.43 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will see April figures for trade later today; in March, non-oil exports were up 12.8 percent on month and 17.6 percent on year, with a trade surplus of SGD31.8 billion.

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