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Renewed Selling Pressure Likely For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market on Monday snapped the three-day slide in which it had fallen almost 55 points or 1.8 percent. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 2,880-point plateau although it may head south again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower, with anticipated weakness from tech shares likely offset by support from crude oil prices. The European markets were slightly lower and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished barely higher on Monday following mixed performances from the financial shares and property stocks.

For the day, the index rose 0.57 points or 0.02 percent to finish at 2,881.21 after trading between 2,876.89 and 2,897.53. Volume was 3.27 billion shares worth 1.36 billion Singapore dollars. There were 245 decliners and 219 gainers.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT plummeted 1.97 percent, while Singapore Technologies Engineering surged 1.87 percent, Wilmar international plunged 1.08 percent, City Developments soared 0.98 percent, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Exchange both spiked 0.92 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation rallied 0.85 percent, Singapore Press Holdings advanced 0.82 percent, Comfort DelGro added 0.63 percent, SembCorp Industries sank 0.61 percent, Genting Singapore dropped 0.60 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.38 percent, CapitaLand shed 0.32 percent, SATS lost 0.24 percent, DBS Group fell 0.12 percent and Dairy Farm International, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Mapletree Logistics Trust, Keppel Corp, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Mapletree Commercial Trust. Thai Beverage and SingTel all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mostly weak as stocks opened in the red on Monday and largely stayed that way, although the Dow managed to break into positive territory.

The Dow rose 27.37 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 31,521.69, while the NASDAQ plummeted 341.42 points or 2.46 percent to end at 13,533.05 and the S&P 500 lost 30.21 points or 0.77 percent to close at 3,876.50.

The steep drop by the NASDAQ came as traders moved out of technology stocks amid concerns about the impact of the recent increase in treasury yields. Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN) all took heavy damage.

The sell-off came as the yield on the benchmark ten-year note saw further upside, reaching its highest closing level in a year. Bond yields remain at historically low levels, but the recent increase may still spook investors already concerned that stocks are overbought.

In U.S. economic news, the Conference Board reported a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in January.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday amid supply concerns due to a slowdown in production after last week's severe cold snap. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures contracts for March expired at $61.49 a barrel, gaining $2.25 or 3.8 percent for the session.

Closer to home, Singapore will release January numbers for consumer prices later today. In December, overall inflation was up 0.4 percent on month and flat on year, while core CPI fell an annual 0.3 percent.

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