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Singapore Stock Market May Be Stuck In Neutral On Monday

The Singapore stock market has tracked higher in back-to-back sessions, collecting more than 40 points or 1.2 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 3,200-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation following Friday's mixed jobs report from the United States. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourse were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

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

For the day, the index gained 20.96 points or 0.66 percent to finish at 3,205.26 after trading between 3,190.61 and 3,209.40. Volume was 1.31 billion shares worth 1.2 billion Singapore dollars. There were 236 gainers and 229 decliners.

Among the actives, City Developments sank 0.58 percent, while Comfort DelGro plummeted 2,16 percent, Dairy Farm International tanked 2.02 percent, DBS Group jumped 1.63 percent, Genting Singapore tumbled 1.91 percent, Keppel Corp eased 0.20 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust fell 0.54 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust lost 0.55 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation soared 1.71 percent, SembCorp Industries advanced 0.95 percent, Singapore Airlines declined 0.80 percent, Singapore Exchange climbed 1.16 percent, Singapore Press Holdings was down 0.43 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering slid 0.53 percent, SingTel retreated 0.85 percent, United Overseas Bank surged 2.13 percent, Wilmar International spiked 1.64 percent and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Ascendas REIT, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Thai Beverage and SATS were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as the major averages opened lower on Friday and then saw wild swings both ways before finally finishing the session in the red.

The Dow dipped 4.84 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 36,231,66, while the NASDAQ sank 145.00 points or 0.96 percent to end at 14,935.90 and the S&P 500 fell 19.02 points or 0.41 percent to close at 4,677.03. For the week, the NASDAQ plunged 4.5 percent, the S&P slumped 1.9 percent and the Dow dipped 0.3 percent.

The continued pullback on Wall Street followed the release of the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report. While the report showed much weaker than expected job growth in the month of December, the unemployment rate still fell by more than expected.

Economists have indicated the report is not likely to alter the Fed's plans to accelerate monetary policy normalization.

Traders subsequently seem concerned the Fed will be raising rates at a time of slowing economic growth as a result of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday, but still finished the week with a strong gain on supply concerns amid escalating unrest in Kazakhstan and outages in Libya. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down by $0.56 or 0.7 percent at $78.90 a barrel. WTI Crude futures gained 4.9 percent in the week.

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