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(RTTNews.com) – The Singapore stock market has ticked higher in consecutive trading days, gathering more than a dozen points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,140-point plateau, although the rally may stall on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets continues to be flat to lower in the midst of the first round of voting in today’s French presidential election. The European and U.S. markets were slightly lower and the Asian markets figure to follow that lead.
The STI finished barely higher on Friday as gains from the industrials were tempered by weakness from the financials and a mixed performance from the plantations.
Among the actives, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding surged 2.33 percent, while Golden Agri-Resources skidded 1.45 percent, City Developments jumped 1.08 percent, DBS Group shed 0.74 percent, Noble Group lost 0.66 percent, CapitaLand fell 0.55 percent, Genting Singapore gathered 0.47 percent, SingTel eased 0.27 percent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation dipped 0.10 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is mildly negative as stocks showed a lack of direction on Friday ahead of the vote, eventually ending slightly in the red.
The Dow dipped 30.95 points or 0.2 percent to 20,547.76, while the NASDAQ lost 6.26 points or 0.2 percent to 5,910.52 and the S&P fell 7.15 points or 0.3 percent to 2,348.69. For the week, the NASDAQ added 1.8 percent, while the Dow added 0.5 percent and the S&P rose 0.8 percent.
The choppy trading came as polls suggest the race is too close to call, and the early returns bear that out. With no candidate expected to win more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will likely head to a runoff on May 7.
In economic news, the National Association of Realtors said U.S. existing home sales jumped to their highest level in ten years in March.
Oil service stocks saw significant weakness amid a steep drop by the price of crude oil, as crude for June delivery tumbled $1.09 to $49.62 a barrel.
Closer to home, Singapore will release consumer price data for March later today; in February, inflation was flat on month and up 0.6 percent on year.
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