Singapore Stock Market May Be Stuck In Neutral On Thursday

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(RTTNews) – The Singapore stock market has tracked higher in two straight sessions, advancing more than 75 points or 2.2 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,350-point plateau although the rally may stall on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement amid a lack of catalysts with some markets still on holiday. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The STI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the financials, properties and REITs.

For the day, the index jumped 59.06 points or 1.79 percent to finish at 3,352.77 after trading between 3,318.76 and 3,355.87.

Among the actives, Ascendas REIT jumped 2.50 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust gathered 1.44 percent, CapitaLand Investment strengthened 2.30 percent, City Developments was up 0.75 percent, Comfort DelGro rallied 2.59 percent, DBS Group spiked 2.78 percent, Emperador perked 0.98 percent, Genting Singapore climbed 2.02 percent, Keppel Corp and SingTel both increased 1.63 percent, Keppel DC REIT skyrocketed 3.63 percent, Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust advanced 1.68 percent, Mapletree Industrial Trust accelerated 2.60 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust surged 3.05 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 1.50 percent, SATS rose 1.02 percent, SembCorp Industries was up 0.29 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering soared 2.85 percent, Thai Beverage added 1.42 percent, United Overseas Bank improved 1.73 percent, Wilmar International gained 1.23 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding advanced 0.81 percent and Hongkong Land and Yangzijiang Financial were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is murky as the major averages opened sharply lower on Wednesday but improved as the day progressed, eventually finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow rose 9.88 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 33,743.84, while the NASDAQ dipped 20.91 points or 0.18 percent to close at 11,313.36 and the S&P 500 eased 0.73 points or 0.02 percent to end at 4,016.22.

The early sell-off on Wall Street reflected a negative reaction to disappointing earnings news from some big-name companies like software giant Microsoft (MSFT) and aerospace giant Boeing (BA).

With gold for February delivery climbing $7.20 to $1,942.60 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index jumped by 1.9 percent to a seven-month closing high.

Banking, airline and steel stocks also showed strong moves to the upside, contributing to the recovery by the broader markets.

Crude oil futures rose slightly higher Wednesday, with traders reacting to reports that a diesel refinery in Louisiana was shut after a fire on Saturday. The disruption is expected to last at least a month. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March settled at $80.15 a barrel, up just 2 cents from the previous close.

Closer to home, Singapore will provide December data for industrial production later today, with forecasts suggesting a decline of 1.1 percent on month and 6.9 percent on year. That follows the 1.2 percent monthly decline and the 3.2 percent yearly drop in November.