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Profit Taking Predicted For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has spiked higher in four straight sessions, surging almost 200 points or 7.7 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 2,705-point plateau although it's tipped to open under pressure on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft, with profit taking likely after recent strength. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly higher on Thursday following gains from the plantations, weakness from the properties and mixed performances from the financials and industrials.

For the day, the index added 6.81 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 2,707.20 after trading between 2,684.07 and 2,755.55. Volume was 1.64 billion shares worth 2.19 billion Singapore dollars. There were 249 decliners and 212 gainers.

Among the actives, Comfort DelGro plummeted 2.48 percent, while Singapore Technologies Engineering surged 2.35 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust plunged 2.34 percent, Wilmar International soared 2.25 percent, CapitaLand tanked 1.87 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust tumbled 1.65 percent, Singapore Airlines spiked 1.62 percent, Singapore Exchange accelerated 1.45 percent, Thai Beverage skidded 1.40 percent, SATS jumped 1.32 percent, Keppel Corp climbed 1.29 percent, Genting Singapore retreated 1.20 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding declined 0.98 percent, DBS Group gathered 0.87 percent, Singapore Press Holdings perked 0.74 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation sank 0.64 percent, Ascendas REIT shed 0.63 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust lost 0.51 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust advanced 0.48 percent, SingTel gained 0.39 percent, United Overseas Bank rose 0.14 percent and SembCorp Industries was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Thursday before eventually ending the day mixed.

The Dow added 11.93 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 26,281.82, while the NASDAQ shed 67.10 points or 0.69 percent to end at 9,615.81and the S&P 500 fell 10.52 points or 0.34 percent to close at 3,112.35.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders took a breath to digest the recent strength and lock in gains; they also seemed reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report later today.

In economic news, the Labor Department said the pace of decline in first-time claims for unemployment benefits has begun to stall a bit, although there was an unexpected increase in continuing claims.

Earlier in the day, some buying interest was generated in reaction to the European Central Bank announcing additional stimulus to deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Crude oil prices edged higher on Thursday after data showed that leading oil producers were in compliance with agreed production cuts. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up $0.12 or 0.3 percent at $37.41 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will see March numbers for retail sales later today; in April, retail sales were down 1.3 percent on month and 13.3 percent on year.

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