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Singapore shares finish higher on firm oil and play on banks

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ANOTHER firm session for the Straits Times Index (STI) thanks to a rise in oil prices and a push on the banks, and another relatively mixed session for the rest of the market - that in a nutshell was the story of Thursday's trading in the local stock market.

The STI ended 23.41 points higher at 2,928.58, its eighth consecutive rise. Of this, about 13 points came from gains in the three banks. Keppel Corp, a beneficiary of higher oil, jumped S$0.44 or 8.1 per cent to S$5.89 on volume of 24.5 million and contributed a further seven points. However, excluding warrants, there were still 203 falls versus 248 rises, so the index's strength was not widely reflected in the rest of the market.

Turnover was a healthy 2.3 billion units worth S$1.67 billion, though this was almost S$1 billion or 35 per cent less than Wednesday's S$2.6 billion.