Markets

Singapore Shares May Be Stuck In Neutral On Wednesday

(RTTNews) - The Singapore stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, advancing more than 30 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 2,560-point plateau and it may spin its wheels on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to higher, nudged into the green by gains in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses are likely to follow suit.

The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financials, properties and industrials.

For the day, the index advanced 20.42 points or 0.80 percent to finish at 2,559.03 after trading between 2,542.19 and 2,575.37. Volume was 2.97 billion shares worth 1.4 billion Singapore dollars. There were 243 gainers and 200 decliners.

Among the actives, Singapore Airlines soared 3.26 percent, while CapitaLand Commercial Trust surged 2.47 percent, CapitaLand spiked 2.17 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust accelerated 2.13 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust rallied 2.06 percent, Wilmar International plunged 2.04 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering jumped 1.73 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation climbed 1.51 percent, Genting Singapore gathered 1.44 percent, SembCorp Industries perked 1.08 percent, United Overseas Bank advanced 1.06 percent, DBS Group collected 0.96 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust skidded 0.95 percent, Thai Beverage added 0.83 percent, Comfort DelGro gained 0.70 percent, SATS rose 0.65 percent, Keppel Corp was up 0.43 percent, Singapore Exchange fell 0.23 percent and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Ascendas REIT, SingTel and Singapore Press Holdings were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved higher on Tuesday, although the Dow eventually slipped into the red while the NASDAQ and S&P 500 hit fresh record closing highs.

The Dow shed 60.02 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 28,248.44, while the NASDAQ added 86.75 points or 0.76 percent to end at 11,466.47 and the S&P 500 rose 12.34 points or 0.36 percent to close at 3,443.62.

The drop by the Dow came as Exxon Mobil (XOM), Raytheon (RTX) and Pfizer (PFE) tumbled on the news they're being removed from the blue chip index. Those three stocks will be replaced by Salesforce.com (CRM), Honeywell (HON), and Amgen (AMGN), which rallied.

Traders were also looking ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday. Analysts suggest Powell will signal an increased tolerance for higher inflation, with some predicting he will call for a shift to average inflation targeting rather than the long-standing 2 percent target.

In economic news, the Commerce Department reported a bigger than expected spike in new home sales last month - while a separate report from the Conference Board showed its consumer confidence index slumped again in August.

Oil prices moved higher on Tuesday, fueled by storm-driven production cuts on the U.S. Gulf Coast as traders look ahead to weekly inventory data. West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped 73 cents or 1.7 to $43.35 a barrel.

Closer to home, Singapore will provide July data for industrial production later today; in June, production added 0.2 percent on month and sank 6.7 percent on year.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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