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Rally May Stall For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, rising almost 30 points or 1 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now sits just beneath the 3,020-point plateau and it may spin its wheels on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower as many of the regional bourses have been overbought in the rally leading up to U.S. President Joe Biden's inauguration, so profit taking may be in order. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses figure to split the difference.

The STI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financials and telecoms, while the properties and industrials were mixed.

For the day, the index advanced 18.38 points or 0.61 percent to finish at 3,017.15 after trading between 2,997.69 and 3,017.15. Volume was 3.75 billion shares worth 1.50 billion Singapore dollars. There were 274 decliners and 228 gainers.

Among the actives, Jardine Cycle surged 2.79 percent, while Wilmar International soared 2.43 percent, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust plunged 2.13 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding tanked 1.83 percent, Ascendas REIT spiked 1.62 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation accelerated 1.32 percent, Thai Beverage rallied 1.25 percent, Genting Singapore jumped 1.15 percent, Singapore Press Holdings tumbled 0.82 percent, SingTel climbed 0.81 percent, Comfort DelGro skidded 0.59 percent, Singapore Exchange advanced 0.59 percent, CapitaLand gathered 0.58 percent, Keppel Corp perked 0.53 percent, City Developments and Singapore Technologies Engineering both added 0.52 percent, SATS sank 0.50 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust dropped 0.49 percent, DBS Group collected 0.27 percent, United Overseas Bank gained 0.25 percent, Singapore Airlines rose 0.23 percent, Dairy Farm International eased 0.13 percent and Hongkong Land, Mapletree Commercial Trust, SembCorp Industries and CapitaLand Commercial Trust were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks were lackluster on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow dipped 12.37 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 31,176.01, while the NASDAQ climbed 73.67 points or 0.55 percent to end at 13,530.92 and the S&P 500 rose 1.22 points or 0.03 percent to close at 3,853.07.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets, which may be overbought following the run to record highs.

Optimism about ramped up efforts to combat the coronavirus under new President Joe Biden have also helped to prop up the markets, including the possibility of more stimulus.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported a pullback in initial jobless claims last week. The Commerce Department also released a report showing new residential construction in the U.S. jumped by more than expected in December.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Thursday after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.18 or 0.3 percent at $53.13 a barrel.

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