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Singapore shares end higher; STI enjoys 2.6% window-dressing push

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Helped by plenty of month-ending window dressing, Friday's session at Singapore Exchange (SGX) brought plenty of relief to battered stocks here, with the Straits Times Index (STI) surging 66.66 points or 2.6 per cent to 2,629.11.

HELPED by plenty of month-ending window dressing, Friday's session at Singapore Exchange (SGX) brought plenty of relief to battered stocks here, with the Straits Times Index (STI) surging 66.66 points or 2.6 per cent to 2,629.11.

Turnover also picked up, rising to a week high of 1.2 billion units worth S$1.4 billion; excluding warrants, there were 298 rises versus 103 falls.

The month-end push enabled the STI to record a gain of 52 points or 2 per cent for the week, and reduced its loss for the month/year-to-date to 8.8 per cent.

As expected, the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged at this week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting, while the European Central Bank continued with its hints of more easing.

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Over in China, stocks continued to exhibit extreme volatility while here, the STI managed three consecutive gains between Wednesday and Friday.

Most days, the index's movements were driven by short-selling, short-covering and shifts in the oil market as well as the Dow futures, making it difficult to say with any certainty if the selling is over.

Not surprisingly given the weakness in oil prices, offshore and marine stocks were in play during the week, but the standout counter in the sector was EMS Energy which started the week at S$0.30 and ended at S$0.065 for an astonishing loss of 78.3 per cent. Along the way, it was queried by SGX but said it could not explain the crash in its shares.

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