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Singapore Shares May Head South Again On Monday

The Singapore stock market on Friday wrote a finish to the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 40 points or 1.2 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,145-point plateau although it's predicted to move lower again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were sharply lower on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to follow suit.

The STI finished slightly higher on Friday as gains from the airlines and industrials were limited by weakness from the financials and properties.

For the day, the index picked up 5.85 points or 0.19 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,144.16 after moving as low as 3,125.67. Volume was 2.11 billion shares worth 1.84 billion Singapore dollars. There were 255 decliners and 224 gainers.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT fell 0.34 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust declined 0.48 percent, City Developments plunged 1.61 percent, Comfort DelGro tumbled 0.60 percent, Dairy Farm International was up 0.47 percent, DBS Group sank 0.43 percent, Genting Singapore gained 0.57 percent, Keppel Corp added 0.78 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust advanced 1.00 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation retreated 0.58 percent, SATS rose 0.50 percent, SembCorp Industries surged 2.37 percent, Singapore Airlines jumped 1.20 percent, Singapore Exchange climbed 1.10 percent, Singapore Press Holdings plummeted 1.64 percent, Thai Beverage soared 2.16 percent, United Overseas Bank lost 0.39 percent, Wilmar International spiked 1.32 percent and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Singapore Technologies Engineering, SingTel and CapitaLand were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is decidedly negative as stocks opened lower on Friday and remained in the red throughout the session.

The Dow plunged 533.37 points or 1.58 percent to finish at 33,290.08, while the NASDAQ dropped 130.97 points or 0.92 percent to end at 14,030.38 and the S&P 500 sank 55.41 points or 1.31 percent to close at 4,166.45.

For the week, the Dow plunged 3.4 percent, the NASDAQ dipped 0.3 percent and the S&P fell 1.9 percent.

Concerns about the outlook for monetary policy continued to weigh on the markets following recent Federal Reserve comments. The Fed's forecast for two interest rates hikes in 2023 has led to speculation that the central bank will soon start tapering its asset purchases.

In addition, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis President James Bullard suggested that rates could be hiked as early as next year, touching off a wave of selling.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday amid optimism about energy demand in the U.S. thanks to reopening of businesses after lockdowns. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July rose $0.60 or 0.8 percent at $71.64 a barrel. WTI Crude oil futures gained 1 percent in the week.

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