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Renewed Consolidation Predicted For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market on Friday picked up less than a single point on Friday, but that was enough to snap the two-day slide in which it had fallen almost 25 points or 0.8 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just shy of the 3,270-point plateau, although it's likely to head south again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on fears for the global economy and concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished barely higher on Friday following mixed performances from the financial shares, property stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index rose 0.31 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 3,268.29 after trading between 3,250.51 and 3,279.68. Volume was 1.71 billion shares worth 1.9 billion Singapore dollars. There were 284 decliners and 213 gainers.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT lost 0.35 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust sank 0.48 percent, CapitaLand Investment rallied 0.55 percent, City Developments plummeted 2.16 percent, Comfort DelGro spiked 0.72 percent, DBS Group collected 0.48 percent, Genting Singapore soared 1.89 percent, Hongkong Land dropped 0.41 percent, Keppel Corp dipped 0.14 percent, Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust climbed 0.53 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust slumped 0.59 percent, SATS tanked 1.46 percent, SembCorp Industries plunged 2.13 percent, Singapore Exchange advanced 0.52 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering jumped 0.54 percent, Thai Beverage tumbled 0.79 percent, United Overseas Bank shed 0.40 percent, Wilmar International fell 0.25 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 5.64 percent and Yangzijiang Financial, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Mapletree Industrial Trust, SingTel and Frasers Logistics were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened firmly lower and stayed that was throughout the session.

The Dow slumped 139.38 points or 0.45 percent to finish at 30,822.42, while the NASDAQ dropped 104.00 points or 0.90 percent to close at 11,448.40 and the S&P 500 fell 28.02 points or 0.72 percent to end at 3,873.33.

For the week, the Dow tumbled 4.1 percent, the S&P 500 plunged 4.8 percent and the NASDAQ plummeted 5.5 percent.

A steep drop by shares of FedEx (FDX) fueled the weakness on Wall Street, with the delivery giant plunging 21.4 percent to a two-year closing low. The sell-off by FedEx came after the company reported weaker than expected preliminary fiscal Q1 results and withdrew its full-year guidance.

Concerns about the outlook for interest rates also continued to weigh on the markets ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision this week. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points, although some see an outside chance for a 100-point rate hike.

Crude oil futures settled roughly flat on Friday following the resumption of oil exports from Iraq's Basra oil terminal, where a spillage had forced disruptions. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for October settled at $85.11 a barrel, up $0.01 from the previous close. WTI crude futures shed nearly 2 percent in the week.

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