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Higher Open Predicted For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market moved higher again on Friday, one session after it had halted the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 55 points or 1.7 percent. The Strait Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,225-point plateau and it may add to its winnings again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on global trade optimism and a surge in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were firmly higher on Friday and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The STI finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, property stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index added 9.90 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 3,224.34 after trading between 3,217.24 and 3,233.70. Volume was 2.05 billion shares worth 906.87 million Singapore dollars. There were 241 gainers and 137 decliners.
Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources surged 3.92 percent, while City Developments soared 2.75 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding spiked 2.27 percent, Singapore Technologies jumped 1.65 percent, SembCorp Industries climbed 0.75 percent, Ascendas REIT tumbled 0.73 percent, Thai Beverage skidded 0.70 percent, SingTel gathered 0.66 percent, CapitaLand perked 0.61 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust advanced 0.55 percent, Comfort DelGro added 0.47 percent, Singapore Exchange shed 0.40 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.38 percent, Keppel Corp gained 0.32 percent, DBS Group rose 0.24 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation was up 0.17 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, Genting Singapore and Wilmar International were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved sharply higher Friday, extending recent gains as the major averages hit their best closing levels in more than a month.

The Dow jumped 336.25 points or 1.38 percent to 24,706.35, while the NASDAQ rose 72.76 points or 1.03 percent to 7,157.23 and the S&P added 34.75 points or 1.32 percent to 2,670.71. For the week, the Dow spiked 3 percent, the NASDAQ rose 2.7 percent and the S&P gained 2.9 percent.

The rally on Wall Street rode continued optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China as reports suggested China may go on a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the U.S.

In economic news, the University of Michigan noted a substantial drop in U.S. consumer sentiment in January. Also, the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased more than expected in December, as jumps in manufacturing and mining offset a pullback in utilities output.

Crude oil prices surged on Friday, driven by an OPEC report that showed the biggest monthly drop in crude production in nearly two years in December. Crude oil futures for February ended up $1.73 or 3.3 percent at $53.80 a barrel.

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