(RTTNews) – The Singapore stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, gathering almost 25 points or 1 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index now sits just above the 2,500-point plateau although it’s tipped to open under pressure on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower after the Federal Reserve downgraded its GDP forecast. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were mostly in the red and the Asian markets also figure to open lower.
The STI finished modestly higher on Wednesday as gains from the property stock and industrial issues were limited by weakness from the financial sector.
For the day, the index advanced 19.32 points or 0.78 percent to finish at 2,505.15 after trading between 2,488.09 and 2,508.16.
Among the actives, SembCorp Industries skyrocketed 8.94 percent, while Singapore Press Holdings surged 3.77 percent, Wilmar International soared 3.12 percent, Comfort DelGro spiked 2.68 percent, Keppel Corp accelerated 2.66 percent, Thai Beverage rallied 2.52 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust jumped 1.49 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust climbed 1.17 percent, CapitaLand gathered 1.10 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding perked 1.02 percent, Singapore Airlines advanced 0.85 percent, Dairy Farm International added 0.79 percent, City Developments gained 0.75 percent, SATS rose 0.69 percent, United Overseas Bank skidded 0.62 percent, Mapletree Logistics Trust dropped 0.49 percent, Singapore Exchange sank 0.46 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation lost 0.35 percent, Ascendas REIT was up 0.31 percent, DBS Group slid 0.29 percent and Genting Singapore, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Singapore Technologies Engineering and SingTel were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street suggests consolidation as stocks were unable to hold early gains on Wednesday, slipping mostly into the red in the final hour of trade.
The Dow added 36.78 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 28,032.38, while the NASDAQ plunged 139.86 points or 1.25 percent to end at 11,050.47 and the S&P 500 fell 15.71 points or 0.46 percent to close at 3,385.49.
The late-day pullback came despite a dovish monetary policy announcement by the Fed, with the central bank leaving interest rates unchanged and signaling rates are likely to remain at near-zero levels for years to come.
But the Fed also downwardly revised its estimates for GDP growth in 2021 and 2022 to 4.0 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. GDP growth in 2023 was forecast at 2.5 percent.
The sharp drop by the NASDAQ came as big-name tech companies like Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) gave ground after solid gains a day earlier.
In economic news, the Commerce Department noted a slowdown in the pace of retail sales growth in August. Also, the National Association of Home Builders said homebuilder confidence jumped to a record high in September.
Crude oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session after data showed an unexpected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $1.88 or 4.9 percent at $40.16 a barrel.
Closer to home, Singapore will see August trade data later today; in July, non-oil exports were up 1.2 percent on month and 6.0 percent on year, with a trade surplus of SGD3.3 billion.