(RTTNews) - The Singapore stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, advancing more than 50 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,200-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Wednesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation ahead of the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated monetary policy announcement later today. The European and U.S. markets were slightly lower and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.
The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday as gains from the financial shares and industrials were offset by weakness from the properties and plantations.
For the day, the index rose 11.51 points or 0.36 percent to finish at 3,197.04 after trading between 3,187.29 and 3,227.15. Volume was 1.09 billion shares worth 1.46 billion Singapore dollars. There were 235 decliners and 178 gainers.
Among the actives, Golden Agri-Resources plummeted 4.55 percent, while SembCorp Industries plunged 2.59 percent, Singapore Exchange surged 2.37 percent, Comfort DelGro tumbled 1.65 percent, Ascendas REIT skidded 1.25 percent, United Overseas Bank spiked 1.19 percent, DBS Group collected 0.75 percent, Keppel Corp dropped 0.72 percent, CapitaLand and Thai Beverage both shed 0.55 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding advanced 0.53 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust lost 0.49 percent, SingTel fell 0.31 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation added 0.28 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering slid 0.25 percent and Wilmar International, Genting Singapore, Mapletree Commercial Trust and Singapore Press Holdings were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks showed a lack of direction on Tuesday, as traders were reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Fed's rate decision and statement.
The Dow shed 19.26 points or 0.07 percent to end at 27,071.46, while the NASDAQ lost 49.13 points or 0.59 percent to 8,276.85 and the S&P 500 fell 2.53 points or 0.08 percent to 3,036.89.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders took a wait-and-see approach even though the Fed is widely expected to cut interest rates by another quarter point.
Some negative sentiment was generated by reports suggesting a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China may not be signed by the summit in Chile next month.
A mixed reaction to the latest batch of earnings news also contributed to the lackluster performance, with a notable drop by Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) weighing on the tech-heavy NASDAQ.
In economic news, the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence unexpectedly edged lower in October. Also, the National Association of Realtors showed another significant increase in pending home sales in the U.S. in September.
Crude oil futures edged lower on Tuesday amid expectations that data from Energy Information Administration (EIA) will show a jump in crude inventories. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December fell $0.27 or 0.5 percent at $55.54 a barrel, the lowest settlement in a week.
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