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Renewed Support Predicted For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market on Monday snapped the modest two-day winning streak in which it had risen almost 15 points or 0.5 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,205-point plateau although figures to bounce higher again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic ahead of the FOMC's rate decision on Wednesday. The European and U.S. bourses were slightly higher and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.

The STI finished modestly lower on Monday following mixed performances from the financial shares, property stocks and plantations.

For the day, the index fell 14.64 points or 0.45 percent to finish at 3,207.99 after trading between 3,202.22 and 3,229.55. Volume was 1.20 billion shares worth 969.42 million Singapore dollars. There were 225 decliners and 159 gainers.

Among the actives, CapitaLand Mall Trust plummeted 2.31 percent, Hutchison Port Holdings plunged 2.22 percent, Golden Agri-Resources surged 1.85 percent, Wilmar International tumbled 0.86 percent, SembCorp Industries skidded 0.84 percent, Ascendas REIT dropped 0.67 percent, DBS Group shed 0.56 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust added 0.49 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.48 percent, Keppel Corp rose 0.32 percent, SingTel gained 0.30 percent, CapitaLand lost 0.29 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation was up 0.19 percent and Comfort DelGro, Singapore Press, Thai Beverage, Genting Singapore and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers mild upside as stocks opened higher on Monday, gave ground in the afternoon but still finished in the green.

The Dow added 22.92 points or 0.09 percent to 26,112.53, while the NASDAQ gained 48.37 points or 0.62 percent to 7,845.02 and the S&P 500 rose 2.69 points or 0.09 percent to 2,889.67.

The strength on Wall Street reflected optimism the Fed will signal a near-term interest rate cut when announcing its monetary policy decision on Wednesday. Many expect the Fed to leave interest rates unchanged but alter its accompanying statement to possibly cutting rates in the near future.

Disappointing economic data reinforced optimism about a potential rate cut, as the New York Fed reported a sharp downward turn in regional manufacturing activity in June. Also, the National Association of Home Builders noted a pullback in homebuilder confidence in June.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Monday amid renewed concerns about energy demand prospects due to economic slowdown in China. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended down $0.58 or 1.1 percent at $51.93 a barrel.

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