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Singapore Stock Market May Be Stuck In Neutral

The Singapore stock market has ticked higher in consecutive trading days, gathering more than 10 points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 2,890-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with oil and technology stocks likely to continue to weigh. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the airlines and properties, while the financials were mixed.

For the day, the index added 9.49 points or 0.33 percent to finish at 2,890.70 after trading between 2,875.90 and 2,905.22. Volume was 2.95 billion shares worth 1.55 billion Singapore dollars. There were 236 gainers and 225 decliners.

Among the actives, Singapore Technologies Engineering sank 1.31 percent, Wilmar international plunged 2.18 percent, City Developments jumped 1.94 percent, Singapore Airlines surged 5.92 percent, Singapore Exchange gained 0.30 percent, Singapore Press Holdings spiked 3.25 percent, Comfort DelGro shed 0.63 percent, SembCorp Industries rallied 2.47 percent, United Overseas Bank lost 0.38 percent, CapitaLand advanced 0.65 percent, SATS soared 4.87 percent, DBS Group collected 0.23 percent, Dairy Farm International climbed 1.64 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust tumbled 1.57 percent, Thai Beverage skidded 1.35 percent, SingTel added 0.43 percent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Ascendas REIT, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Genting Singapore, Keppel Corp and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests a hint of support as stocks staged a recovery after opening sharply lower on Tuesday as the Dow and S&P managed to pick into positive territory.

The Dow added 15.66 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 31,537.35, while the NASDAQ fell 67.85 points or 0.50 percent to end at 13,465.20 and the S&P 500 rose 4.87 points or 0.13 percent to close at 3,881.37.

The early sell-off on Wall Street reflected concerns about the outlook for inflation and the potential for higher interest rates due to the recent increase in bond yields. The yields on ten-year notes and thirty-year bonds reached their highest intraday levels since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the day.

However, selling pressure waned after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell reiterated interest rates will remain at near-zero levels and the Fed will continue its asset purchases at the current rate until "substantial further progress" has been made toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability.

In U.S. economic news, the Conference Board said consumer confidence has improved more than expected in February.

Crude oil prices ended slightly lower on Tuesday after surging in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.03 at $61.67 a barrel.

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