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Singapore: STI gains 0.3% this week in quiet trading

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FIVE trading days and the Straits Times Index managed an 11-point or 0.3 per cent rise to 3,463.10. Optimists might be thankful for the gain and be grateful that even with liquidity dipping as it has to daily averages below S$1billion, the index held up pretty well. Pessimists on the other hand, would bemoan the loss of volume, volatility and verve over the past fortnight.

On Friday for example, the STI barely budged throughout the day before ending a nett 7.32 points higher, most probably in anticipation of a rise on Wall Street. Turnover amounted to 1.2 billion units worth S$1.02 billion, not anything to shout about.

Penny stocks have retained their popularity in a market often described as being bereft of ideas, though even here volume has been hit.

Genting Singapore on Friday caught the eye with a S$0.06 or about 6 per cent loss at S$0.955 on volume of 48.4 million which made it the session's second most active stock. The casino operator on Thursday reported an unexpected 73 per cent plunge in first quarter net profit to S$62.7 million and a 23 per cent revenue fall.