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Singapore shares close on a rebound that pushes up STI


EITHER China's reversal played a big part in triggering Tuesday's rebound or investors were betting that Greece exiting the eurozone will be no big deal. Or equally likely was that trading programmes were indulging in large doses of short-covering in anticipation of doing the same on Wall Street on Tuesday.

Whatever the case, a large bounce in the three banks and Singtel proved instrumental in pushing the Straits Times Index up 37.15 points to 3,317.33, thus recovering almost all the 41 points lost on Monday.

Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index jumped one per cent; and in China, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 5.5 per cent. Volatility in China has spiked up over the past few days as the government has tried to stem a bout of selling in recent weeks with a slew of measures aimed at bolstering confidence - on Tuesday, the Shanghai index from low to high traversed about 11 per cent.

After interest rate and reserve ratio cuts over the weekend failed to lift stock prices on Monday, the China government on Tuesday announced draft rules to allow pension funds to buy stocks while there were also reports that a major Chinese broker said that it was lowering its margin requirements for buying blue chips.

The day's most active stock here was commodities firm Noble Group, which has seen its shares come under pressure over the past four months after attacks on its accounting policies by corporate whistle-blower Iceberg Research and short seller Muddy Waters.