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Singapore shares close higher in response to Wall St's all-time highs

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THE Singapore Exchange's (SGX) system breakdown on Thursday will surely dominate headlines and be the subject of conversation among industry players, but more important is that Wall Street's S&P 500 index has set four consecutive all-time highs this week - if it manages another record on Friday, it would make for a "perfect week", the first since 1998.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, in the meantime, rose to three consecutive all-time highs between Tuesday and Thursday and the Nasdaq Composite to its highest in 2016.

Buoyed by this performance, traders pushed the Straits Times Index (STI) up 78 points or 2.7 per cent over the week to 2,925.35, of which 18.43 points came during Friday's session when the local market played catch-up with the rest of the region after it had been closed for most of Thursday following SGX's system glitch.

Because of pent-up trading energy, Friday's volume swelled from a daily average of S$1.1 billion to 2.2 billion units worth S$1.4 billion, of which S$951 million or 68 per cent was done in the 30 STI components. The index is now 43 points or 1.5 per cent higher for the year to date.