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Singapore Stock Market May Take Further Damage On Monday

The Singapore stock market headed south again on Friday, one session after ending the two-day slide in which it had fallen almost 10 points or 0.3 percent. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 3,230-point plateau and the losses may accelerate on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on renewed COVID-19 concerns and the resulting drop in crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The STI finished slightly lower on Friday following weakness from the properties, industrial stocks and financial shares.

For the day, the index dipped 4.68 points or 0.14 percent to finish at 3,232.34 after trading between 3,227.06 and 3,238.97. Volume was 1.69 billion shares worth 1.02 billion Singapore dollars. There were 239 decliners and 222 gainers.

Among the actives, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust gained 0.46 percent, while City Developments tanked 0.97 percent, Comfort DelGro added 0.66 percent, Dairy Farm International tumbled 0.90 percent, DBS Group was up 0.03 percent, Genting Singapore declined 0.60 percent, Keppel Corp lost 0.19 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust advanced 0.94 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.17 percent, SATS sank 0.48 percent, SembCorp Industries skidded 0.49 percent, Singapore Airlines retreated 0.75 percent, Singapore Exchange shed 0.21 percent, Singapore Press Holdings dropped 0.42 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering surrendered 0.75 percent, SingTel plunged 1.19 percent, United Overseas Bank eased 0.04 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding plummeted 1.56 percent and Wilmar International, Mapletree Logistics Trust, Ascendas REIT and Thai Beverage were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed as the Dow opened lower on Friday and stayed that way and the NASDAQ opened higher and closed at a record high. The S&P 500 opened slightly lower, bounced back and forth across the unchanged line and ended slightly in the red.

The Dow dropped 268.92 points or 0.75 percent to finish at 35,601.98, while the NASDAQ added 63.74 points or 0.40 percent to close at 16,057.44 and the S&P 500 eased 6.58 points or 0.14 percent to end at 4,697.96. For the week, the NASDAQ jumped 1.2 percent, the S&P rise 0.3 percent and the Dow lost 1.4 percent.

Renewed COVID-19 concerns weighed on cyclical stocks as a brutal fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across Europe. Austria has announced a full national COVID-19 lockdown starting today, while Germany has announced more restrictions on unvaccinated people.

The potential of more European countries reinstating full lockdowns sparked worries the pandemic could once again weigh down the global economy.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy NASDAQ benefitted from continued strength among technology stocks following some upbeat earnings news from companies such as software firm Intuit (INTU) and cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks (PANW).

Crude oil prices plunged sharply on Friday amid rising concerns about the outlook for energy demand following a surge in COVID-19 cases and fresh restrictions in some European countries. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December settled at $75.94 a barrel, losing $2.47 or 3.2 percent.

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