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Renewed Selling Pressure Likely For Singapore Shares

The Singapore stock market on Tuesday ended the two-day slide in which it had fallen more than 35 points or 1.4 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 2,580-point plateau although it figures to head south again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on coronavirus concerns, stimulus questions and falling oil prices. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly higher on Tuesday as gains from the plantations and telecoms were capped by weakness from the financials and a mixed picture from the property sector.

For the day, the index rose 7.18 points or 0.28 percent to finish at 2,582.97 after trading between 2,580.89 and 2,603.31. Volume was 1.62 billion shares worth 1.27 billion Singapore dollars. There were 237 gainers and 185 decliners.

Among the actives, Dairy Farm International plummeted 3.27 percent, Wilmar International surged 3.01 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust soared 2.37 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust spiked 2.03 percent, Comfort DelGro plunged 1.45 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust accelerated 1.44 percent, CapitaLand tumbled 1.42 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering jumped 1.22 percent, Singapore Airlines skidded 1.11 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust climbed 1.05 percent, City Developments advanced 0.86 percent, Singapore Press Holdings retreated 0.85 percent, Thai Beverage declined 0.78 percent, Singapore Exchange surrendered 0.72 percent, SembCorp Industries sank 0.57 percent, Ascendas REIT added 0.57 percent, United Overseas Bank dropped 0.54 percent, Keppel Corp shed 0.53 percent, SingTel gained 0.40 percent, DBS Group lost 0.39 percent, SATS fell 0.36 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation slid 0.22 percent and Hongkong Land, Genting Singapore and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks moved mostly lower on Tuesday, largely offsetting the upward move seen in the previous session.

The Dow dropped 205.49 points or 0.77 percent to finish at 26,379.28, while the NASDAQ sank 134.18 points or 1.27 percent to end at 10,402.09 and the S&P 500 fell 20.97 points or 0.65 percent to finish at 3,218.44.

The pullback by stocks came as traders kept an eye on developments in Washington after Republicans unveiled their version of a new coronavirus relief bill. The GOP bill includes popular provisions like another $1,200 stimulus payment to American as well as more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

However, the legislation also slashes unemployment benefits and provides liability protections for businesses and doctors, which could lead to an impasse in negotiations with Democrats.

Negative sentiment was also generated by a report from the Conference Board showing consumer confidence fell more than expected in July.

Traders were also looking ahead to today's Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement. While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will look to the accompanying statement for clues about future plans to provide additional economic stimulus.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Tuesday amid concerns about the outlook for near term energy demand due to the surge in coronavirus cases and fears of fresh lockdown measures. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September slid $0.56 or 1.4 percent at $41.04 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will see June figures for import and export prices and producer prices later today, as well as Q2 numbers for unemployment. In May, export prices were down 10.0 percent on year, while import prices sank 12.7 percent and producer prices tumbled 14.4 percent. The jobless rate in Q1 was 2.4 percent.

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