(RTTNews) – The Singapore stock market has finished higher in consecutive trading days, gathering almost 40 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now rests just beneath the 3,200-point plateau and it may see mild upside again on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian market is cautiously optimistic, with upside limited by surging coronavirus cases in India. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The STI finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the industrials and mixed performances from the financials.
For the day, the index picked up 6.26 points or 0.20 percent to finish at the daily high of 3,194.04 after trading as low as 3,167.00. Volume was 1.18 billion shares worth 1.10 billion Singapore dollars. There were 247 gainers and 217 decliners.
Among the actives, Ascendas REIT gained 0.32 percent, while CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust shed 0.46 percent, Comfort DelGro and Genting Singapore both tumbled 1.12 percent, Dairy Farm International was up 0.23 percent, DBS Group eased 0.07 percent, Jardine Matheson surged 2.41 percent, Keppel Corp soared 2.25 percent, Mapletree Commercial Trust dropped 0.47 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 0.17 percent, SATS sank 0.73 percent, SembCorp Industries rallied 1.38 percent, Singapore Airlines lost 0.40 percent, Singapore Exchange advanced 0.66 percent, Singapore Press Holdings skidded 1.09 percent, Singapore Technologies Engineering jumped 1.25 percent, SingTel added 0.40 percent, Thai Beverage plummeted 1.37 percent, United Overseas Bank climbed 0.76 percent, Wilmar International rose 0.29 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding spiked 2.17 percent and CapitaLand, City Developments, Mapletree Logistics Trust, Jardine Strategic Holdings and Hongkong Land were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is positive as the major averages showed a strong move to the upside, picking up steam as the session progressed.
The Dow spiked 227.59 points or 0.67 percent, while the NASDAQ jumped 198.39 points or 1.44 percent to end at 14,016.81 and the S&P 500 gained 45.19 points or 1.09 percent to close at 4,180.17. For the week, the Dow fell 0.5 percent, the NASDAQ shed 1.4 percent and the S&P eased 0.1 percent.
The rebound on Wall Street partly reflected the volatility seen over the past few sessions, which saw the major averages show big swings back-and-forth.
Optimism about the economic recovery has helped prop up the markets, although concerns about high valuations and surging coronavirus cases overseas have led to worries about the near-term outlook.
In economic news, the Commerce Department reported a substantial rebound in new home sales in March, sending sales to their highest level since August 2006.
Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, lifted by buoyant demand for energy in the U.S. despite a weak global outlook. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for June ended up by $0.71 or 1.2 percent at $62.14 a barrel. WTI crude futures shed 1.7 percent in the week.
Closer to home, Singapore will provide March numbers for industrial production later today, with forecasts suggesting an increase of 2.2 percent on month and 3.0 percent on year. That follows the 1.6 percent monthly increase and the 16.4 percent annual spike in February.