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Additional Support Anticipated For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, collecting almost 25 points or 0.7 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,200-point plateau and it's predicted to open in the green again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside on continued optimism for economic recovery. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the telecoms stocks and financial shares.

For the day, the index gained 16.99 points or 0.53 percent to finish at 3,201.76 after trading between 3,184.31 and 3,203.56. Volume was 1.57 billion shares worth 1.27 billion Singapore dollars. There were 282 gainers and 183 decliners.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT added 0.32 percent, while City Developments fell 0.25 percent, Comfort DelGro advanced 0.56 percent, Dairy Farm International soared 0.96 percent, DBS Group rose 0.17 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust sank 0.50 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation rallied 0.84 percent, SATS gained 0.23 percent, SembCorp Industries tumbled 2.02 percent, Singapore Airlines climbed 1.12 percent, Singapore Exchange spiked 0.88 percent, Singapore Press Holdings jumped 2.06 percent, SingTel surged 4.94 percent, Thai Beverage skidded 0.67 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.19 percent, Wilmar International lost 0.36 percent and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, CapitaLand, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Genting Singapore, Keppel Corp, Singapore Technologies Engineering, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Jardine Cycle and Jardine Strategic Holding all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up being positive as the major averages shook off a mixed open on Friday to finish modestly in the green.

The Dow jumped 164.68 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 34,200.67, while the NASDAQ rose 13.58 points or 0.10 percent to end at 14,052.34 and the S&P 500 gained 15.05 points or 0.36 percent to close at 4,185.47. For the week, the S&P spiked 1.4 percent, the Dow rose 1.2 percent and the NASDAQ gained 1.1 percent.

Upbeat earnings news generated continued buying interest, as Morgan Stanley (MS) joined other financial giants in reporting better than expected first quarter earnings.

In economic news, the Commerce Department noted a substantial rebound in new residential construction in March, while the University of Michigan said sentiment has continued to improve in April.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday, snapping a four-session winning streak but still finishing sharply higher for the week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May were down $0.33 or 0.5 percent at $63.13 a barrel, although the contract gained nearly 6.5 percent in the week.

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