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Singapore Bourse May Be Stuck In Neutral

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, gathering more than 35 points or 1.4 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 2,610-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with concerns over rising coronavirus cases tempered by optimism for a possible treatment. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares, industrial issues and property stocks.

For the day, the index climbed 20.26 points or 0.78 percent to finish at 2,610.17 after trading between 2,597.29 and 2,619.35. Volume was 1.7 billion shares worth 840.83 million Singapore dollars. There were 242 gainers and 133 decliners.

Among the actives, SembCorp Industries surged 5.71 percent, while SATS soared 2.80 percent, Singapore Airlines spiked 2.14 percent, Comfort DelGro accelerated 2.07 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust rallied 2.04 percent, Singapore Exchange tumbled 1.80 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust jumped 1.78 percent, Singapore Press Holdings climbed 1.57 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust gathered 1.55 percent, DBS Group perked 1.20 percent, Keppel Corp advanced 1.17 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation added 1.11 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 1.09 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust gained 1.04 percent, Genting Singapore rose 0.66 percent, Ascendas REIT increased 0.63 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding added 0.54 percent, SingTel gained 0.41 percent, Wilmar International was up 0.24 percent and Singapore Technologies Engineering, CapitaLand and Thai Beverage were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is inconclusive as stocks opened higher Wednesday but then bounced back and forth across the unchanged like and eventually finished the session mixed.

The Dow shed 77.91 points or 0.30 percent to finish at 25,734.97, while the NASDAQ climbed 95.86 points or 0.95 percent to end at 10,154.63 and the S&P 500 rose 15.57 points or 0.50 percent to close at 3,115.86.

The upward moves by the NASDAQ and S&P came after drug giant Pfizer (PFE) and German biotech company BioNTech (BNTX) announced positive data from an early-stage human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine.

The companies said the most advanced of four investigational vaccine candidates was generally well tolerated and produced neutralizing antibodies.

In economic news, the Institute for Supply Management said U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in June, while payroll processor ADP showed a significant increase in private sector employment last month.

Crude oil futures were higher Wednesday, as data showed a sharp fall in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended up $0.55 or 1.4 percent at $39.82 a barrel.

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