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Singapore shares finish week higher; STI gains 10.2% in Q1

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The week just past was all about two things - how Wall Street would take the Trump administration's healthcare setback and to what extent quarter-ending window-dressing would manifest itself.

THE week just past was all about two things - how Wall Street would take the Trump administration's healthcare setback and to what extent quarter-ending window-dressing would manifest itself.

As it turned out, US investors clung on to hope that notwithstanding President Donald Trump's failure to deliver on his healthcare reform he might still be able to succeed with his Budget - even if details on this are still very vague. So, Wall St managed to stabilise after a rocky week, though a firm oil market may have also played some role.

As for window-dressing, there was the predictable push on Jardine stocks earlier in the week, particularly Hongkong Land. On Friday though, the Straits Times Index only managed a 1.87 points rise to 3,175.11 that brought its gain for the week to 33 points or 1.1 per cent. Its gain for the quarter was 295 points or 10.2 per cent.

Turnover has been patchy of late, though encouragingly, dollar value has remained consistently just above the industry's ballpark breakeven of S$1 billion a day. Unit value has also stayed high, suggesting that some degree of "animal spirits'' has returned, though it is unclear if this involves heightened retail presence.

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On Friday, thanks to attempts at window-dressing or "portfolio rebalancing", volume amounted to 2.6 billion units worth S$1.6 billion, the highest for the week. Excluding warrants there were 226 rises versus 255 falls throughout.

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