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Singapore Stock Market May Add To Its Winnings

The Singapore stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, gathering almost a dozen points or 0.5 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 2,535-point plateau and it's predicted to open slightly higher again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to slightly higher, with hopes for stimulus tempered by climbing coronavirus cases. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and industrials were capped by weakness from the properties and trusts.

For the day, the index picked up 8.98 points or 0.36 percent to finish at 2,537.39 after trading between 2,524.85 and 2,538.43. Volume was 1.25 billion shares worth 928.7 million Singapore dollars. There were 213 decliners and 177 gainers.

Among the actives, Mapletree Logistics Trust plummeted 3.30 percent, Comfort DelGro surged 1.41 percent, SembCorp Industries soared 1.40 percent, Wilmar international plunged 1.40 percent, Singapore Airlines spiked 1.13 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering accelerated 1.10 percent, Hongkong Land Holdings tanked 1.05 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding rallied 1.04 percent, Singapore Press Holdings jumped 1.00 percent, Genting Singapore climbed 0.75 percent, Singapore Exchange advanced 0.67 percent, Ascendas REIT sank 0.65 percent, SATS added 0.64 percent, City Developments and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation both gained 0.57 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust dropped 0.53 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust shed 0.52 percent, DBS Group rose 0.51 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.50 percent, SingTel increased 0.47 percent, CapitaLand lost 0.37 percent and Dairy Farm International, Keppel Corp, Thai Beverage and CapitaLand Commercial Trust were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks showed a lack of direction on Friday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow eased 28.09 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 28,335.57, while the NASDAQ gained 42.28 points or 0.37 percent to end at 11,548.28 and the S&P 500 rose 11.90 points or 0.34 percent to close at 3,465.39. For the week, the Dow shed 0.9 percent, the NASDAQ lost 1.1 percent and the S&P fell 0.5 percent.

The choppy trading on Friday came amid a lack of concrete news out of Washington regarding a new coronavirus stimulus bill. Traders have generally remained optimistic that a bill will eventually be passed, although they may be tired of waiting.

A steep drop by shares of Intel (INTC) weighed on the Dow, with the semiconductor giant plunging 10.6 percent after reporting Q3 earnings that beat estimates but on weaker than expected revenues for its Data Center Group. Credit card giant American Express (AXP) also tumbled after reporting Q3 earnings that missed expectations.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday, weighed down by worries about energy demand due to the surge in coronavirus cases and lockdown measures in several countries. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down by $0.79 or 1.9 percent at $39.85 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will release September numbers for industrial production later today; in August, production was up 13.9 percent on month and 13.7 percent on year.

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