RTTNews - The Singapore stock market has stretched its winning streak to three sessions, jumping 90 points or 4 percent along the way. The Straits Times Index is closing on resistance at the 2,320-point plateau, and now investors are expecting the market to trade right around that mark at the opening of Monday's action.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with perhaps a touch of upside coming from the technology sectors - although several of the regional bourses are riding modest winning streaks and could see a minor downside correction. The U.S. markets ended in mixed fashion on Friday, as did the European markets - and the Asian markets are predicted also to stay close to the unchanged line.
The STI finished modestly higher on Friday, thanks to mild gains among the financials and the properties. For the day, the index gained 15.49 points or 0.67 percent to close at 2,317.95 after trading between 2,313.88 and 2,332.47.
Among the actives, DBS, City Developments, Keppel Land and Singapore Telecom finished higher, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and Singapore Airlines ended unchanged and United Overseas Bank and CapitaLand wound up slightly lower.
The lead from Wall Street is fairly inconclusive as stocks finished Friday's session on a mixed note, with traders largely shrugging off the day's economic data. The major averages finished on opposite sides of the unchanged line by mild margins, seeing yet another lackluster outing prompted by low volume.
Ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street, a report from the Commerce Department showed that personal income jumped 1.4 percent in May following an upwardly revised 0.7 percent increase in April, although the growth was due in large part to increased government social benefit payments.
Excluding the effects of the stimulus bill, disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, increased by a much more modest 0.2 percent in May. The report also indicated that that personal spending rose 0.3 percent in May after coming in unchanged in the previous month. The moderate increase in spending came in line with economist estimates.
Separately, a report from Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that the consumer sentiment index was revised up to 70.8 in June from the preliminary reading of 69.0, coming in well above the May reading of 68.7. Economists had been expecting the index to be unrevised at 69.0.
On the earnings front, KB Home (KBH) reported a second-quarter net loss of $1.03 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.30 per share for the same period last year. Analysts expected the company to report a loss of $0.64 per share for the quarter.
Meanwhile, Qantas said that it has reached a mutual agreement with Boeing (BA) to defer the delivery of 15 aircraft by four years and cancel orders for 15 others scheduled for delivery in 2014 and 2015.
The major indices finished the day on a mixed note, failing to sustain a late rally. While the NASDAQ closed up by 8.68 points or 0.5 percent at 1,838.22, the Dow slipped by 34.01 points or 0.4 percent to 8,438.39 and the S&P 500 fell 1.36 or 0.2 percent to 918.90. With the mixed performance for the session, the major averages also closed mixed for the week. While the NASDAQ posted a 0.6 percent gain for the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 posted their second consecutive weekly losses, falling 1.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
In economic news, industrial production in Singapore rose 2 percent year-on-year in May, faster than a 0.4 percent growth in the preceding month, the Economic Development Board said on Friday. Economists expected output to drop 3.3 percent.
Month-on-month, industrial output fell a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent in May, after rising 25.9 percent in April. Economists expected production to fall 3 percent. For the first five months of the year, industrial output dropped 15.1 percent.
Also, visitor arrivals into Singapore dropped 13 percent year-on-year in May to 730,000, the country's Tourism Board said Friday.
During the month, tourists from India, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia and China, accounted for 53.1 percent of the total arrivals. Tourist arrivals declined sharply from China and Japan in May, partly due to the outbreak of swine flu. At the same time, tourist arrivals rose 12.1 percent from Vietnam, 5.1 percent from Malaysia and 1.4 percent from the Philippines.
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