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Win Streak Expected To End For Singapore Shares

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, collecting almost 30 points or 1 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 3,000-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on disappointing earnings news and ongoing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asia bourses figure to follow suit.

The STI finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the properties and a mixed picture from the financial shares.

For the day, the index added 4.87 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 3,004.87 after trading between 2,991.76 and 3,012.53. Volume was 4.2 billion shares worth 1.54 billion Singapore dollars. There were 289 gainers and 202 decliners.

Among the actives, Jardine Strategic Holdings surged 3.01 percent, while Thai Beverage soared 1.97 percent, City Developments spiked 1.32 percent, Wilmar International accelerated 0.97 percent, Singapore Airlines rallied 0.92 percent, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust jumped 0.88 percent, Singapore Press Holdings tanked 0.81 percent, Singapore Exchange and SingTel both tumbled 0.80 percent, SATS climbed 0.75 percent, Comfort DelGro advanced 0.58 percent, Genting Singapore added 0.57 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation sank 0.56 percent, SembCorp Industries dropped 0.55 percent, DBS Group shed 0.52 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering gained 0.52 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust slid 0.50 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.38 percent, Keppel Corp rose 0.35 percent and Dairy Farm International, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Hongkong Land, Ascendas REIT, Mapletree Commercial Trust, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and CapitaLand Limited all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower on Friday; the major averages recouped some of the losses but still finished firmly in the red.

The Dow shed 177.26 points or 0.57 percent to finish at 30,814.26, while the NASDAQ sank 114.14 points or 0.87 percent to end at 12,998.50 and the S&P 500 fell 27.29 points or 0.72 percent to close at 3,768.25. For the week, the Dow lost 0.9 percent and the NASDAQ and S&P both fell 1.5 percent.

The early sell-off on Wall Street reflected a negative reaction to disappointing earnings news from financial giants Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Negative sentiment was also generated by a report from the Commerce Department showing a continued decline in U.S. retail sales in December. But the Federal Reserve released a separate report showing U.S. industrial production jumped much more than expected last month.

Crude oil futures settled sharply lower on Friday as worries about energy demand resurfaced amid rising coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $1.21 or 2.3 percent at $52.36 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will provide December data for non-oil domestic exports later this morning, with forecasts suggesting an increase of 3.6 percent on month and 0.3 percent on year. That follows the 3.8 percent monthly decline and the 4.9 percent annual drop in November, when the trade balance was 3.93 billion Singapore dollars.

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