(RTTNews.com) - The Singapore stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, gathering more than 40 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,055-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with limited bargain hunting and thin trade expected before the New Year holiday. The European markets were up on Friday and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The STI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and plantations were capped by weakness from the property sector.
For the day, the index picked up 8.69 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 3,053.43 after trading between 3,039.85 and 3,069.19. Volume was 942.5 million shares worth 539.9 million Singapore dollars.
Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources surged 4.26 percent, while Thai Beverage soared 1.74 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust tumbled 1.69 percent, Keppel Corp spiked 0.85 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding jumped 0.82 percent, Ascendas REIT skidded 0.78 percent, Wilmar International climbed 0.64 percent, Comfort DelGro advanced 0.47 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust added 0.44 percent, SembCorp Industries shed 0.40 percent, DBS Group collected 0.34 percent, United Overseas Bank gained 0.33 percent, CapitaLand fell 0.32 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation rose 0.18 percent and Hutchison Port Holdings, SingTel and Genting Singapore were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is mixed as stocks saw continued volatility with wild swings on Friday before ending mixed and little changed.
The Dow shed 76.42 points or 0.33 percent to 23,062.40, while the NASDAQ added 5.03 points or 0.08 percent to 6,584.52 and the S&P 500 fell 3.09 points or 0.12 percent to 2,485.74. For the week, the Dow jumped 2.7 percent, the NASDAQ soared 4 percent and the S&P gained 2.9 percent.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders took a breather following the volatility in the past few sessions. Stocks moved sharply lower over much of the trading session on Friday before surging in the final hour of trade.
In economic news, the National Association of Realtors noted a continued drop in pending home sales in November. Also, MNI Indicators said growth in Chicago-area business activity pulled back less than expected in December.
Crude oil futures ended higher Friday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted a less than expected decline in stockpiles last week. Crude oil futures for February ended up $0.72 or 1.6 percent at $45.33 a barrel.
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