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Singapore Stock Market Set To Halt Slide

Ahead of Friday's holiday for Eid al-Adha, the Singapore stock market had moved lower in two straight sessions - sinking more than 50 points or 2.2 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 2,530-point plateau although it may find traction on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on solid earnings from technology stocks and anticipation for new stimulus measures. The European markets were down on Friday and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished sharply lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares, property stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index plunged 43.63 points or 1.70 percent to finish at 2,529.82 after trading between 2,511.02 and 2,581.66. Volume was 1.99 billion shares worth 2.97 billion Singapore dollars. There were 289 decliners and 184 gainers.

Among the actives, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation plummeted 3.82 percent, while Keppel Corp plunged 3.57 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust tanked 3.16 percent, United Overseas Bank tumbled 3.15 percent, Dairy Farm International surged 3.13 percent, Singapore Airlines skidded 3.12 percent, DBS Group retreated 3.09 percent, Singapore Press Holdings declined 2.73 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust surrendered 2.22 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust sank 2.07 percent, Hongkong Land jumped 1.88 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding dropped 1.61 percent, Thai Beverage climbed 1.59 percent, Ascendas REIT advanced 1.22 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering and City Developments both shed 1.21 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust lost 0.93 percent, SingTel fell 0.80 percent, Comfort DelGro added 0.74 percent, Genting Singapore slid 0.68 percent, Singapore Exchange dipped 0.61 percent, SembCorp Industries slipped 0.57 percent, Wilmar International gained 0.43 percent and SATS and CapitaLand were unchanged.

After considerable volatility, the lead from Wall Street ended up to be positive thanks to a late-day surge on Friday, fueled by gains from the technology stocks.

The Dow added 114.62 points or 0.44 percent to finish at 26,428.32, while the NASDAQ soared 157.47 points or 1.49 percent to end at 10,745 and the S&P 500 rose 24.90 points or 0.77 percent to close at 3,271.12. For the week, The Dow eased 0.2 percent, the NASDAQ surged 3.7 percent and the S&P jumped 1.7 percent.

The higher close on Wall Street partly reflected a positive reaction to better than expected quarterly results from several leading technology companies, including Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB).

The upbeat tech earnings news overshadowed concerns about stalled negotiations over a new coronavirus stimulus package. Lawmakers appear at an impasse as the attempt to reach a compromise between a $1 trillion GOP relief proposal and the $3.4 trillion bill passed by the Democratic-controlled House in May.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said personal income slumped more than expected in June, although there was another substantial increase in personal spending. A separate report from the University of Michigan said consumer sentiment deteriorated more than expected in July.

Crude oil futures closed higher on Friday, buoyed by a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that said oil production fell sharply in May. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up $0.35 or 0.9 percent at $40.27 a barrel.

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