RTTNews - The winning streak has hit three sessions for the Singapore stock market, which has gathered nearly 80 points or 3 percent en route to a fresh 11-month closing high. The Straits Times Index closed above the 2,680-point plateau, and now analysts are projecting additional gains when it opens on Tuesday - perhaps testing resistance at 3,000 points.
The Asian markets can look to considerable optimism in Tuesday's global forecast as a resurgence in commodities and resources is predicted to lead the bourses firmly to the upside. Financials and steel stocks also are expected to provide support. The European and U.S. markets finished with strong gains, and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.
The STI finished modestly higher on Monday, as gains among the plantations and shipping firms were dented by selling among the financials.
For the day, the index gained 22.44 points or 0.84 percent to close at 2,681.64 after trading between 2,632.98 and 2,682.47. Volume was 2.37 billion shares worth 1.87 billion Singapore dollars.
Among the actives, Neptune Orient Lines gained 6.6 percent and Wilmar International added 3.8 percent, while Singapore Airlines also finished higher. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp eased 0.3 percent.
Wall Street offers a broadly positive lead as stocks saw a significant rally on the first trading day of August, fueled by better-than-expected economic data. The major averages all finished in positive territory, with the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 moving past the key technical levels of 2,000 and 1,000, respectively.
Notable buying interest was generated by a report from the Institute for Supply Management that showed a much slower than expected pace of contraction in manufacturing activity in July. The report also showed notable improvements in new orders and production. The ISM said its index of activity in the manufacturing sector rose to 48.9 in July from 44.8 in June, although a reading below 50 indicates a contraction. Economists had been expecting a more modest increase to a reading of 46.5.
Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department revealed that construction spending rose 0.3 percent in June following a revised 0.8 percent slide in May. The figure surprised economists, who had expected a decline of 0.5 percent for the month. The unexpected increase was largely due to a 1.0 percent increase in public construction. While private construction slipped 0.1 percent, residential construction spending was up 0.5 percent.
Some positive sentiment was also generated by news that Ford (F) reported its first increase in U.S. sales in nearly two years in the month of July. Ford said its sales rose 2.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago due in part to the government's Cash for Clunkers program.
In earnings news today, Humana (HUM) and Tyson Foods (TSN) beat Wall Street estimates, while traders are looking forward to the release of results from homebuilding stalwarts Centex (CTX) and Pulte Homes (PHM) after the closing bell this afternoon.
The major averages all closed sharply higher, with the NASDAQ ending the session at its best level of the day. The Dow closed up by 114.95 points or 1.3 percent at 9,286.56, the NASDAQ climbed by 30.11 points or 1.5 percent to 2,008.61, and the S&P 500 rose by 15.15 points or 1.5 percent to 1,002.63. With the gains, the NASDAQ closed above the 2,000 level for the first time since October, while the S&P 500 closed above the 1,000 level for the first time since November. The Dow also set a nine-month closing high.
In economic news, Singapore will on Tuesday announce purchasing managers' index data for July, with forecasts calling for an index score of 52 after coming in at 51.1 in June. Minus electronics, the PMI is projected at 55.8, up from 55 in the previous month.
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