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Mild Upside Expected For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of 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 3,225-point plateau and it may tick higher again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with support from oil and financial stocks likely to be undercut by weakness from technology shares. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished modestly lower on Tuesday following losses from the financial shares and mixed performances from the properties and industrials.

For the day, the index shed 9.55 points or 0.30 percent to finish at 3,227.53 after trading between 3,226.76 and 3,237.32. Volume was 1.88 billion shares worth 987 million Singapore dollars. There were 262 decliners and 191 gainers.

Among the actives, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust jumped 1.83 percent, while City Developments plunged 1.67 percent, Comfort DelGro skidded 1.32 percent, Dairy Farm International tumbled 1.25 percent, DBS Group dropped 0.43 percent, Genting Singapore declined 0.60 percent, Keppel Corp surrendered 0.93 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation shed 0.42 percent, SATS fell 0.24 percent, SembCorp Industries plummeted 1.95 percent, Singapore Airlines sank 0.57 percent, Singapore Exchange dipped 0.21 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering retreated 0.51 percent, SingTel and United Overseas Bank both lost 0.40 percent, Thai Beverage tanked 1.39 percent, Wilmar International rose 0.23 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding climbed 1.56 percent and Mapletree Commercial Trust, Mapletree Logistics Trust, Ascendas REIT and Singapore Press Holdings were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street remains inconsistent as the Dow and S&P spent Tuesday bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending higher. The NASDAQ spent most of the session in the red and finished that way.

The Dow jumped 194.55 points or 0.55 percent to finish at 35,813.80, while the NASDAQ slipped 79.62 points or 0.50 percent to close at 15,775.14 and the S&P 500 rose 7.76 points or 0.17 percent to end at 4,690.70.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ pulled back further off the record intraday high set in early trading on Monday, as a continued increase in treasury yields weighed on high-growth tech stocks.

Yields have moved notably higher since President Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Fed Chair. With the upward move, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note ended at its highest closing level in a month.

On the other hand, the Dow benefited from strong gains by financial giants Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Crude oil futures settled sharply higher on Tuesday, rebounding strongly from earlier losses over the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases in Europe, and plans by the U.S. to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January still ended higher by $1.75 or 2.3 percent at $78.50 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will release final Q3 figures for gross domestic product later this morning; in the previous three months, GDP was down 1.8 percent on quarter and up 14.7 percent on year.

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