The Singapore stock market on Thursday halted the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 30 points or 1 percent. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 2,905-point plateau although it figures to bounce higher again on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat thanks to rising crude oil prices and solid economic data. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were firmly higher and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The STI finished modestly lower on Thursday following loses from the industrials and mixed performances from the financials and properties.
For the day, the index sank 21.89 points or 0.75 percent to finish at 2,905.58 after trading between 2,884.74 and 2,936.59. Volume was 2.34 billion shares worth 1.28 billion Singapore dollars. There were 283 decliners and 183 gainers.
Among the actives, Thai Beverage plummeted 2.45 percent, while SingTel plunged 2.11 percent, CapitaLand tanked 1.56 percent, Wilmar International tumbled 1.49 percent, Keppel Corp skidded 1.38 percent, City Developments retreated 1.37 percent, Ascendas REIT declined 1.27 percent, SembCorp Industries surrendered 1.18 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust sank 1.02 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding dropped 1.01 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation shed 0.97 percent, Hongkong Land advanced 0.88 percent, Dairy Farm International lost 0.68 percent, Comfort DelGro added 0.63 percent, Genting Singapore gained 0.58 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering rose 0.53 percent, Singapore Exchange fell 0.51 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust slid 0.47 percent, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust dipped 0.46 percent, United Overseas Bank was down 0.34 percent, DBS Group collected 0.16 percent and SATS, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Press Holdings were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as stocks opened higher on Thursday and remained well in the green throughout the trading day.
The Dow jumped 332.26 points or 1.08 percent to finish at 31,055.86, while the NASDAQ climbed 167.20 points or 1.23 percent to end at 13,777.74 and the S&P 500 gained 41.57 points or 1.09 percent to close at 3,871.74.
Easing concerns about speculative trading have helped drive the markets higher along with mostly upbeat earnings news from big-name companies.
Positive sentiment was also generated in reaction to a report from the Labor Department showing a continued decline in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week.
Traders have recently taken an optimistic view toward most economic data, seeing upbeat data as a positive for the economy while seeing disappointing data as putting pressure on lawmakers to pass more stimulus.
Crude oil futures were up Thursday for the fourth straight session on continued optimism that crude oil supplies will drop thanks to OPEC’s move to reduce output. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended higher by $0.54 or 1 percent at $56.23 a barrel.
Closer to home, Singapore will release Q4 and 2020 figures for gross domestic product later today. In Q4, GDP is called higher by 0.7 percent on quarter and lower by 2.0 percent on year after gaining 5.05 percent on quarter and falling 3.49 percent on year in the three months prior. For all of 2020, GDP is called lower by 2.0 percent after climbing 5.02 percent in 2019.
Singapore also will see December numbers for retail sales; in November, sales were up 7.3 percent on month and down 1.9 percent on year.
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