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(RTTNews) - The Singapore stock market has climbed higher in five straight sessions, advancing almost 65 points or 2.1 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,220-point plateau although it's overdue for consolidation on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower on mixed earnings news and rising crude oil prices. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The STI finished slightly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financials and mixed performances from the properties and industrials.
For the day, the index rose 5.13 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 3,219.56 after trading between 3,205.50 and 3,220.27. Volume was 1.79 billion shares worth 1.19 billion Singapore dollars.
Among the actives, Ascendas REIT jumped 0.96 percent, while CapitaLand sank 0.53 percent, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust added 0.46 percent, City Developments shed 0.50 percent, Comfort DelGro advanced 0.56 percent, DBS Group collected 0.34 percent, Keppel Corp fell 0.36 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust surged 2.35 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust rallied 1.09 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation climbed 0.83 percent, SATS plunged 1.44 percent, SembCorp Industries tanked 1.38 percent, Singapore Airlines plummeted 2.83 percent, Singapore Exchange lost 0.47 percent, Singapore Press Holdings soared 2.25 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering dropped 0.51 percent, SingTel rose 0.40 percent, United Overseas Bank gained 0.41 percent, Wilmar International skidded 0.57 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding spiked 1.39 percent and Dairy Farm International, Genting Singapore, Thai Beverage and Jardine Strategic Holdings were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks saw a lack of direction on Wednesday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending modestly lower.
The Dow shed 164.55 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 33,820.38, while the NASDAQ lost 39.19 points or 0.28 percent to end at 14,051.03 and the S&P 500 fell 3.54 points or 0.08 percent to close at 4,183.18.
Stocks initially lacked direction as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement, although the choppy trading continued after the Fed announced its widely expected decision to maintain ultra-easy policy.
The Fed left interest rates and asset purchases unchanged even as the central bank upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy, adding that the sectors most affected by the coronavirus pandemic remain weak but have improved.
Traders were also reacting to the latest earnings news from several big-name companies as Alphabet (GOOGL) and Visa (V) beat the street while Amgen (AMGN) and Boeing (BA) disappointed.
Crude oil prices moved higher Wednesday amid hopes energy demand will increase in the near future. A much smaller than expected increase in U.S. crude inventories last week also contributed to oil's advance. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended higher by $0.92 or 1.5 percent at a six-week high of $63.86 a barrel.
Closer to home, Singapore will see March data for import, export and producer prices and Q1 figures for unemployment later today. In February, import prices were up 0.8 percent on year, export prices were down 1.9 percent and producer prices fell 0.7 percent. The jobless rate was 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
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