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Singapore Shares Expected To Be Rangebound On Thursday

The Singapore stock market on Wednesday ended the two-day losing streak in which it had slipped more than 15 points or 0.5 percent. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 2,975-point plateau and they're likely to see little movement again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with upside limited by political uncertainty and falling oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The STI finished barely higher on Wednesday as gains from the financials were offset by weakness from the properties.

For the day, the index rose 0.34 points or 0.01 percent to finish at the daily high of 2,977.51 after moving as low as 2,977.51. Volume was 2.5 billion shares worth 1.55 billion Singapore dollars.

Among the actives, Jardine Cycle surged 3.26 percent, while Thai beverage plummeted 3.14 percent, Singapore Airlines soared 2.59 percent, Hongkong Land spiked 2.48 percent, Singapore Press Holdings accelerated 1.69 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust plunged 1.48 percent, CapitaLand tanked 1.43 percent, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust tumbled 1.33 percent, Ascendas REIT skidded 1.31 percent, SingTel rallied 1.22 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding jumped 0.93 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation climbed 0.76 percent, SATS sank 0.74 percent, Keppel Corp advanced 0.71 percent, City Developments dropped 0.68 percent, Dairy Farm International added 0.68 percent, Wilmar International shed 0.59 percent, SembCorp Industries gained 0.54 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.51 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust lost 0.46 percent, Singapore Exchange rose 0.30 percent, Singapore Technologies slid 0.26 percent, DBS Group was up 0.11 percent and Genting Singapore, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Comfort DelGro were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks bounced back and forth across the unchanged line on Wednesday, finally ending mixed.

The Dow eased 8.22 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 31,060.47, while the NASDAQ added 56.52 points or 0.43 percent to end at 13,128.95 and the S&P 500 rose 8.65 points or 0.23 percent to close at 3,809.84.

The higher close by the NASDAQ and the S&P came as treasuries rebounded following recent weakness, leading to a drop in bond yields and contributed to significant strength among interest rate sensitive stocks like utilities and properties.

Buying interest was subdued as political uncertainty kept some traders on the sidelines as House Democrats impeached President Donald Trump for a second time over allegations that he incited last week's violent attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

In economic news, the Labor Department said U.S. consumer prices increased in line with estimates last month. Also, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, which said economic activity has increased modestly.

Crude oil futures fell on Wednesday as concerns about the outlook for energy demand amid the continued rise in coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions on movements hurt oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February sank $0.30 or 0.6 percent at $52.91 a barrel.

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