RTTNews - The Singapore stock market on Tuesday saw an end to the winning streak in which it had gained more than 190 points or 8 percent. The Straits Times Index eased below the 2,450-point plateau, although investors are looking for the market to bounce back to the upside when it kicks off trade on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains positive, although many of the regional bourses are riding lengthy winning streaks and may see some more of the profit taking that crept into trade towards the end of the previous session. Biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical stocks are tipped higher, while the financials could ease under pressure. The European and U.S. markets finished higher again, and the Asian markets are expected to follow suit.

The STI finished barely lower on Tuesday, thanks to a spurt of profit taking following the recent rally. Financials ended the trading day in mixed fashion, as did the property stocks.

For the day, the index shed 1.82 points or 0.07 percent to close at 2,454.33 after trading between 2,446.45 and 2,469.37.

Among the actives, CapitaLand was down 1.3 percent, while DBS and United Overseas Bank also finished lower. Ending in positive territory were Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, City Developments and Keppel Land.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic once again as a spike in buying interest in the afternoon helped stocks to finish modestly higher on Tuesday after showing a lack of direction for much of the day. The major averages all finished in positive territory by solid margins, building on their recent gains.

Stocks started strong following a slew of largely promising earnings, with five Dow components reporting their quarterly results. Despite beating Wall Street estimates, Caterpillar (CAT), Coca-Cola (KO), DuPont (DD), Merck (MRK) and United Technologies (UTX) saw mixed reaction.

In other news, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Financial Services Committee today, stating that the U.S. economy is showing signs of stabilization and that the stimulus authorities pumped into the global economy late last year probably helped to avoid a collapse of the financial system.

Bernanke also said that the Fed is prepared to remove its stimulus when the time is appropriate in order to avoid a spike in inflation. However, he reiterated that the economy is still in a fragile state, with unemployment high and consumer spending shaky.

The Fed chief is scheduled to delivery his second day of testimony before the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama continued to push for the passage of his healthcare plan this afternoon, looking to gather additional support for the much-discussed bill that aims to provide universal healthcare.

The major averages moved to the upside heading into the close, finishing near their best levels of the day. The Dow advanced 67.79 points or 0.8 percent to 8,915.94, the NASDAQ climbed 6.91 points or 0.4 percent to 1,916.20 and the S&P 500 rose 3.45 points or 0.4 percent to 954.58.

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