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Singapore shares close slightly higher as rises in banks push STI up 2 points

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 17:30

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A QUIET trading session on Thursday saw the Straits Times Index (STI) end just 2.34 points higher at 2,813.59, thanks mainly to gains in the three banks. Turnover was a low 1.3 billion units worth S$879.3 million and excluding warrants there were 202 rises versus 182 falls.

Overseas markets did not provide much guidance - the Dow futures fell slowly throughout the day and stood about 48 points weaker at 5pm, while Hong Kong added 0.3 per cent.

Counteracting the push up from the banks was a S$0.05 loss for Singtel at S$3.72 that came with 17.7 million traded. OCBC Investment Research in a Thursday "buy" on the stock said that Singtel remains its top pick in the telco sector because of its ability to grow beyond the traditional telco services into cyber security, Big Data analytics as well as digital marketing.

"We also expect it to be the least affected by the emergence of a fourth mobile operator in Singapore," said the broker.

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In the offshore and marine sector, shares of Mermaid Maritime ended S$0.009 down at S$0.127 on volume of 10.8 million. The company had been queried by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Wednesday when its shares rose 27 per cent in high volume. Its reply on Thursday was that it may be holding exploratory discussions with parties regarding possible transactions, but there is no guarantee that any of these discussions may lead to deals being struck.

China property firm Weiye Holdings' shares dropped S$0.055 to S$0.50 on volume of 1.1 million on the second day of its dual primary listing in Hong Kong. It has shot up S$0.105 or 23 per cent on its debut in Hong Kong on Wednesday. On Thursday in Hong Kong, it fell HK$0.59 to HK$2.89 on volume of 1.7 million.

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