Ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, the Singapore stock market had moved lower in two straight sessions, slipping almost 10 points or 0.3 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 2,925-point plateau although it may find traction on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside in light trade as several bourses remain closed for the Lunar New Year. The European and U.S. markets were modestly higher on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.
The STI finished slightly lower in Thursday’s half-session as gains from the financial shares and industrial issues were capped by weakness from the property sector.
For the day, the index eased 0.36 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 2,925.48 after trading between 2,914.90 and 2,926.34. Volume was 1.21 billion shares worth 633.39 million Singapore dollars. There were 190 gainers and 162 decliners.
Among the actives, Thai Beverage plummeted 2.48 percent, while Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 1.90 percent, SembCorp Industries soared 1.20 percent, City Developments plunged 1.10 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering tanked 1.06 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust spiked 0.97 percent, Dairy Farm International accelerated 0.92 percent, SingTel tumbled 0.83 percent, SATS rallied 0.73 percent, CapitaLand skidded 0.64 percent, Comfort DelGro sank 0.63 percent, Keppel Corp climbed 0.59 percent, Genting Singapore shed 0.58 percent, Wilmar International dropped 0.56 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust lost 0.52 percent, Singapore Exchange added 0.51 percent, DBS Group collected 0.27 percent, United Overseas Bank gained 0.21 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation rose 0.09 percent and CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Ascendas REIT, Venture Corporation, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Press Holdings were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as the major averages shook off a lower open on Friday to finish slightly in the green and at fresh record closing highs.
The Dow added 27.70 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 31,458.40, while the NASDAQ gained 69.70 points or 0.50 percent to end at 14,095.47 and the S&P 500 rose 18.45 points or 0.47 percent to close at 3,934.83. For the week, the Dow jumped 1 percent, the NASDAQ spiked 1.7 percent and the S&P rose 1.2 percent.
Profit taking contributed to modest weakness early in the trading session, although selling pressure remained subdued. The markets have largely maintained their upward momentum amid optimism about more fiscal stimulus and an easing of the coronavirus crisis.
Traders largely shrugged off a preliminary report from the University of Michigan showing an unexpected deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in February.
Traders have recently looked at weak economic data as a positive for the markets amid the assumption that it will put pressure on lawmakers to provide more stimulus.
Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday as tensions in the Middle East raised the possibility of disruptions in crude supplies. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $1.23 or 2.1 percent at $59.47 a barrel.
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