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Soft Start Predicted For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market on Tuesday wrote a finish to the three-day losing streak in which it had stumbled more than 70 points or 2.2 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,160-point plateau although it's expected to open under pressure again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains negative on fears that the coronavirus is spreading. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financial shares and industrial stocks.

For the day, the index advanced 16.04 points or 0.51 percent to finish at 3,158.24 after trading between 3,142.20 and 3,171.74. Volume was 1.62 billion shares worth 1.32 billion Singapore dollars. There were 237 gainers and 197 decliners.

Among the actives, Singapore Technologies Engineering surged 5.24 percent, while Wilmar International soared 2.96 percent, CapitaLand spiked 1.36 percent, Ascendas REIT accelerated 1.23 percent, Thai Beverage jumped 1.22 percent, Genting Singapore tumbled 1.15 percent, Mapletree Logistics skidded 1.01 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding climbed 1.00 percent, Singapore Exchange advanced 0.56 percent, SembCorp Industries gained 0.51 percent, Comfort DelGro rose 0.50 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 0.47 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation increased 0.46 percent, DSB Group was up 0.32 percent and Keppel Corp, Hongkong Land Holdings, CapitaLand Mall Trust, Mapletree Commercial Trust, SingTel, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Singapore Press Holdings all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests consolidation as stocks opened higher on Tuesday but quickly reversed course and fell deeply into the red.

The Dow shed 879.44 points or 3.15 percent to end at 27,081.36, while the NASDAQ lost 255.67 points or 2.77 percent to 8,965.67 and the S&P 500 fell 97.68 points or 3.03 percent to 3,128.21.

Stocks initially moved to the upside as traders went bargain hunting, picking up stocks at reduced levels following Monday's steep drop. Buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading, however, as fears about the coronavirus outbreak escalating into a pandemic continued to grow.

Adding to the worries, MasterCard (MA) and United Airlines (UAL) joined a growing list of companies that have warned about the potential financial impact of the outbreak.

Crude oil prices tumbled on Tuesday, extending recent losses amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global growth. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $1.53 or 3 percent at $49.90 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will see January data for industrial production later today; in December, industrial production was up 4.1 percent on month and down 0.7 percent on year.

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