RTTNews - One day after writing a finish to the three-day winning streak in which it had collected 90 points or 4 percent, the Singapore stock market turned right back to the upside again on Tuesday. The Straits Times Index broke through resistance at 2,330 points, although analysts suggest that the market could hand that level right back in Wednesday's trade.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is laced with pessimism, with continued selling pressure expected for the financials and commodities. Some disappointing economic data out of the United States adds to the negative sentiment that suggests that a global recovery might not be as close as many had thought. The European markets were sharply lower, while the U.S. markets also ended in the red - and the Asian bourses are also expected to follow suit and trade lower.
The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday, thanks to gains among the financials, telecoms and airlines. For the day, the index was up 15.97 points or 0.69 percent to close at 2,333.14 after trading between 2,322.08 and 2,356.39. Volume was 1.26 billion shares worth $1.35 billion Singapore dollars.
Among the actives, DBS Group Holdings slid 0.2 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp was up 1.1 percent and United Overseas Bank added 1.5 percent higher, while Singapore Airlines, Singapore Telecommunications and Singapore Press Holdings also ended higher.
The lead from Wall Street is firmly negative as stocks turned sharply lower as traders digested consumer confidence figures that fell short of expectations after kicking off Tuesday's session showing a mild upward move. The major averages all finished solidly in negative territory, offsetting Monday's gains.
A report from the Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 49.3 in June from a revised 54.8 in May. The decrease surprised economists, who had expected the index to edge up to 55.3 from the 54.9 originally reported for the previous month. The decrease reflected less favorable assessments of both current conditions and the near-term outlook.
Separately, the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago said its index of activity in the manufacturing sector jumped to 39.9 in June from 34.9 in May, although a reading below 50 indicates a continued contraction. Economists had been expecting the index to increase to a reading of 39.0.
Earlier, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a closely watched measure of home prices, showed a 0.6 percent decline from March to April, according to a survey of prices in 20 U.S. cities. Home prices were down 18.1 percent compared to the same period last year.
On the corporate front, chipmaker Broadcom (BRCM) announced that it raised its tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Emulex (ELX) to $11.00 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of about $912 million. Emulex said its Board of Directors would review the terms of the revised offer.
In earnings news, private education firm Apollo Group (APOL) reported third quarter net income of $1.26 per share, compared to $0.85 per share in the prior year quarter. The earnings beat Wall Street analyst forecasts of $1.12 per share. The stock climbed by 7.8 percent on the day.
Further, tax preparer H&R Block (HRB) reported fourth quarter net income of $2.09 per share, compared to $1.66 per share in the year-ago quarter. The results edged out analyst expectations of $2.05 per share. H&R Block also said it expects fiscal 2010 earnings in the range of $1.60 to $1.80 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $1.66 per share for the year. The stock rose by 10 percent on the day as traders reacted to the news.
The major averages moved off their worst levels late in the session but still posted notable losses. The Dow closed down by 82.38 points or 1 percent at 8,447.00, the NASDAQ dipped by 9.02 points or 0.5 percent to 1,835.04, and the S&P 500 fell 7.91 points or 0.9 percent to 919.32.
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