The Singapore stock market on Wednesday snapped the two-day slide in which it had stumbled more than 35 points or 1.1 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,255-point plateau and it's expected to hold steady in that neighborhood again on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement on Thursday ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed and Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The STI finished modestly higher on Wednesday as gains from the financials and properties were capped by weakness from the industrials.
For the day, the index added 6.76 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 3,253.93 after trading between 3,240.17 and 3,258.96. Volume was 2 billion shares worth 1.09 billion Singapore dollars. There were 209 gainers and 205 decliners.
Among the actives, Thai Beverage plummeted 2.45 percent, while Singapore Press Holdings surged 1.91 percent, Hongkong Land Holdings plunged 1.58 percent, CapitaLand soared 1.30 percent, Genting Singapore tumbled 1.08 percent, Singapore Airlines spiked 1.02 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding skidded 0.91 percent, Singapore Exchange accelerated 0.80 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation jumped 0.63 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust dropped 0.55 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering climbed 0.49 percent, DBS Group collected 0.38 percent, Ascendas REIT advanced 0.32 percent, SingTel added 0.31 percent, United Overseas Bank gained 0.26 percent, Wilmar International rose 0.24 percent, Keppel Corp fell 0.15 percent and Dairy Farm International, CapitaLand Mall Trust, Mapletree Commercial Trust, SembCorp Industries, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Comfort DelGro all were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks opened higher Wednesday but gave most of it back as the day progressed to end little changed.
The Dow fell 9.73 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 29,186.27, while the NASDAQ rose 12.96 points or 0.14 percent to 9,383.77 and the S&P 500 added 0.96 points or 0.03 percent to 3,321.75.
A positive reaction to earnings news from IBM Corp. (IBM) contributed to the early strength on Wall Street after the tech giant reported better than expected fourth quarter results and provided upbeat full-year 2020 guidance.
Positive sentiment was also generated in reaction to news of the Chinese government's efforts to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
But buying interest waned as the day progressed, with traders reluctant to make significant moves ahead of earnings news from a slew of other big-name companies in the coming days.
Crude oil prices declined sharply on Wednesday, weighed down by concerns about the outlook for energy demand after the International Energy Agency predicted a jump in global oil supply. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $1.64 or 2.8 percent at $56.74 a barrel.
Closer to home, Singapore will provide December figures for consumer prices later today; in November, inflation was up 0.3 percent on month and 0.6 percent on year.
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