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Singapore Bourse May Give Up Support At 2,900 Points

The Singapore stock market on Wednesday halted the two-day winning streak in which it had picked up almost 10 points or 0.3 percent. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 2,920-point plateau and it may take further damage on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative, with more profit taking expected after recent gains. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the industrials and mixed performances from the financials and properties.

For the day, the index slipped 14.91 points or 0.51 percent to finish at 2,920.43 after trading between 2,909.54 and 2,928.25. Volume was 1.99 billion shares worth 1.06 billion Singapore dollars.

Among the actives, Jardine Matheson plummeted 4.42 percent, while Thai Beverage plunged 2.55 percent, Dairy Farm International tanked 1.36 percent, Comfort DelGro soared 1.27 percent, SembCorp Industries tumbled 1.18 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust spiked 0.99 percent, Keppel Corp skidded 0.97 percent, SingTel retreated 0.83 percent, Singapore Exchange declined 0.70 percent, CapitaLand jumped 0.64 percent, Genting Singapore surrendered 0.58 percent, City Developments climbed 0.56 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust sank 0.51 percent, SATS advanced 0.48 percent, Wilmar International dropped 0.36 percent, Ascendas REIT shed 0.33 percent, United Overseas Bank lost 0.29 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering added 0.27 percent, Singapore Airlines fell 0.23 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.09 percent, DBS Group was up 0.04 percent and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, UOL Group and Singapore Press Holdings were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened in the red on Wednesday and largely stayed that way, although the Dow was able to finish in the green.

The Dow gained 90.27 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 31,613.02, while the NASDAQ sank 82.00 points or 0.58 percent to end at 13,965.50 and the S&P 500 eased 1.26 points or 0.03 percent to close at 3,931.33.

The early weakness on Wall Street followed the release of a batch of largely upbeat U.S. economic data, which painted a positive picture of the economy but also added to recent inflation concerns.

The Commerce Department said retail sales spiked 5.3 percent in January, while the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased more than expected last month and the Labor Department said producer prices jumped much more than expected in January.

The minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting also signaled the central bank is likely to leave policy unchanged for the foreseeable future, offsetting concerns about the impact of inflation.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Wednesday amid rising concerns over likely disruptions in supply due to severe cold weather in Texas. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $1.09 or 1.8 percent at $61.14 a barrel.

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