Soft Start Seen For Singapore Stock Market

(RTTNews) – The Singapore stock market bounced higher again on Friday, one session after ending the three-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 75 points or 2.8 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 2,815-point plateau although it’s tipped to open in the red again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is uninspired thanks to a continued surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, property stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index jumped 36.01 points or 1.30 percent to finish at 2,813.01 after trading between 2,779.21 and 2,814.13. Volume was 2.78 billion shares worth 1.52 billion Singapore dollars. There were 322 gainers and 125 decliners.

Among the actives, Singapore Press Holdings skyrocketed 19.05 percent, while Comfort DelGro surged 3.12 percent, Genting Singapore soared 2.44 percent, CapitaLand spiked 2.35 percent, City Developments accelerated 2.24 percent, Dairy Farm International tumbled 1.84 percent, SembCorp Industries rallied 1.78 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation jumped 1.74 percent, Hongkong Land climbed 1.66 percent, United Overseas Bank collected 1.65 percent, Keppel Corp perked 1.58 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust advanced 1.50 percent, SATS added 1.21 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding gained 1.09 percent, Ascendas REIT rose 1.01 percent, SingTel increased 0.84 percent, Singapore Airlines, Venture Corporation and DBS Group all gathered 0.74 percent, Thai Beverage lost 0.68 percent, Singapore Exchange improved 0.55 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust fell 0.51 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering was up 0.26 percent and CapitaLand Commercial Trust and CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower on Friday and largely remained in the red, finishing firmly in negative territory.

The Dow shed 219.75 points or 0.75 percent to finish at 29,263.48, while the NASDAQ sank 49.74 points or 0.42 percent to end at 11,854.976 and the S&P 500 fell 24.33 points or 0.68 percent to close at 3,557.54. For the week, the Dow fell 0.7 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.2 percent and the S&P fell 0.8 percent.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected concerns about the near-term economic outlook amid a continued spike in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. Data showed nearly 188,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while the daily death toll topped 2,000 for the first time.

The continued surge in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. has raised concerns new restrictions and lockdowns will dampen the economy recovery. While there continues to be upbeat news on the vaccine front, traders seem worried about an economic downturn leading up to the widespread distribution of a vaccine.

Adding to the economic uncertainty, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced a decision to allow five of the Federal Reserve’s nine emergency lending programs to expire at the end of the year.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, lifted by optimism about a likely pick-up in energy demand once the Covid-19 vaccines get the nod from drug regulators. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December settled at $42.15 a barrel, gaining $0.41 or 1 percent on the expiration day. New front-month contract January WTI futures were up by $0.52 or 1.2 percent at $42.42 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will release final Q3 numbers for gross domestic product. GDP is expected to add 7.9 percent on quarter and fall 5.4 percent on year after sinking 13.2 percent on quarter and 13.3 percent on year in the three months prior.

Singapore also will see October numbers for consumer prices; in September, overall inflation was up 0.3 percent on month and flat on year, while core CPI was down an annual 0.1 percent.

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