STOCKS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Markets Briefing: STI up 0.29%

Expect more gains today.

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 8.49 points or 0.29% higher to 2962.63 on Friday, taking the year-to-date performance to +2.77%.

According to OCBC Investment Research, this came as modest gains on Wall Street pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to record levels, while the Dow closed a fraction below the closely watched 20,000 level, following a December U.S. jobs report that investors interpreted as generally positive.

Nine out of eleven S&P 500 industries ended higher, led by Information Technology (0.96%) and Industrials (0.54%) while Telecommunication Services (-2.67%) and Real Estate (-0.02%) lost ground. The index was up 1.70% for the week.

"The gains on Wall Street Friday could provide a modest boost to the local bourse today," the brokerage firm noted.

Here's more from OCBC:

As such, we could see the STI continue its climb and test the 2970 initial hurdle. Again, the ability of the index to sustain convincingly above 2970 is crucial, failure which could result in selling into strength.

Technically, MACD has initiated a bullish crossover while RSI is now just a shade below the overbought region, hovering around 65%.

On the downside, we peg the immediate base to 2930 followed by the next support at 2900.

Overall volume rose 6.2%, with 2.2b units traded, but total value lost 11.7% to S$1.2b, while average value/unit fell 16.8% to S$0.50.

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