RTTNews - One day after snapping the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered more than 60 points or 2.4 percent, the Singapore stock market turned back to the upside again on Tuesday. The Straits Times Index closed just shy of support at the 2,570-point plateau, and now investors are anticipating that the market will break through that barrier when it kicks off trade on Wednesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly optimistic as stocks around the world began to recover from steep losses in recent sessions. Technology stocks are expected to be in favor, as are the steel and financial shares. The European and U.S. markets finished firmly in positive territory, and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.
The STI finished modestly higher on Tuesday, thanks to gains among the financials, property stocks and airlines.
For the day, the index gained 21.74 points or 0.85 percent to close at 2,567.72 after trading between 2,532.72 and 2,570.59. Volume was 2.22 billion shares worth 1.78 billion Singapore dollars. There were 324 gainers and 203 decliners, with 758 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the gainers, DBS, United Overseas Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Singapore Airlines, Singapore Telecom, CapitaLand and Neptune Orient Lines all finished higher.
The lead from Wall Street is solidly positive as stocks saw notable strength on Tuesday, partly offsetting the steep losses posted in the previous session amid some encouraging earnings reports. The major averages all finished in positive territory by solid margins, but they remain well off their recent highs.
Buying interest was boosted early on by a set of positive earning reports, with Home Depot (HD), Saks (SKS) and Target (TGT) all exceeding Wall Street estimates on the bottom line, although their revenues fell short of estimates.
Optimism won out despite the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing an unexpected decrease in housing starts in the month of July. The report said that housing starts fell 1.0 percent to an annual rate of 581,000 in July from the revised June estimate of 587,000. Economists had expected starts to rise to 598,000 from the 582,000 originally reported for the previous month.
Separately, the Labor Department revealed that producer prices dropped 0.9 percent in July following a 1.8 percent increase in the previous month. Economists had expected the measure to slip 0.3 percent for the month. Core prices, which exclude the volatile food and energy sectors, ticked down 0.1 percent in July. Economists were looking for core prices to edge up by 0.1 percent.
While the major averages pulled back off their highs for the session going into the close, they remained firmly in positive territory. The Dow closed up by 82.07 points or 0.9 percent at 9,217.41, the Nasdaq advanced by 25.08 points or 1.3 percent to 1,955.92 and the S&P 500 rose by 9.94 points or 1 percent to 989.67.
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