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Singapore: Banks, Singtel help STI gain 1.1% over the week

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In the past, there had been some concern expressed by investors that the passing of Singapore's founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, might have an adverse impact on the local stock market.

They needn't have worried - Mr Lee's passing on Monday had little impact on the market, with the Straits Times Index rising 38 points or 1.1 per cent over the five days. On Friday, it rose 18.51 to 3,450.1, driven mainly by the banks and Singtel and volume was 1.6 billion units worth S$1.1 billion.

External considerations included gyrations on Wall Street because of interest rate expectations, Middle East problems including the rise of ISIS and the conflict in Yemen, and flow of money towards Europe because of the QE (quantitative easing).

Throughout the week there was more than a hint of quarter-ending window dressing which helped prop the index up, benefiting as it did the banks, Singtel and battered offshore marine sector plays like Keppel Corp.