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Singapore Stock Market May Run Out Of Steam On Thursday

The Singapore stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, rising almost 35 points or 1 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,260-point plateau although it may be stuck in neutral on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly rudderless amid a lack of catalysts as investors look for concrete details in a possible trade agreement between the United States and China. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished modestly higher on Wednesday as gains from the financials and plantations were dented by weakness from the industrials.

For the day, the index rose 14.06 points or 0.43 percent to finish at 3,262.69 after trading between 3,250.94 and 3,265.75. Volume was 1.71 billion shares worth 1.4 billion Singapore dollars. There were 209 gainers and 177 decliners.

Among the actives, Singapore Airlines plummeted 2.65 percent, while Golden Agri-Resources surged 2.27 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding plunged 1.94 percent, Hongkong Land Holdings spiked 1.84 percent, Singapore Press Holdings tumbled 1.30 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust skidded 1.16 percent, DBS Group soared 0.88 percent, CapitaLand dropped 0.81 percent, Singapore Exchange jumped 0.67 percent, SingTel climbed 0.61 percent, Genting Singapore advanced 0.53 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering added 0.49 percent, SembCorp Industries and Comfort DelGro both sank 0.43 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust gained 0.42 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.41 percent, Ascendas REIT lost 0.32 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation rose 0.18 percent and Wilmar International, Keppel Corp, Thai Beverage and CapitaLand Commercial Trust were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Wednesday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow eased 0.07 points to end at 27,492.56, while the NASDAQ fell 24.05 points or 0.29 percent to 8,410.63 and the S&P rose 2.16 points or 0.07 percent to 3,076.78.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders were reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets after the recent run to record highs.

Optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal contributed to the strength on Wall Street, but traders now seem to be looking for more concrete developments - limiting the upside.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said labor productivity in the U.S. unexpectedly edged lower in the third quarter.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak, after data showed a larger than expected increase in crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.88 or 1.5 percent at $56.35 a barrel.

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