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Singapore stocks close higher as STI gains for third straight session

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WITH markets in "risk on" mode, the Straits Times Index (STI) on Wednesday added more distance between itself and its 2016 starting point of 2,882 when it closed with an 8.83-point gain at 2,910.65, thus bringing its rise for the year so far to 28 points or about one per cent. It was the STI's third consecutive gain for the week.

Wall Street's second consecutive all-time high this week provided the impetus, which was reinforced by rises of just under one per cent in Japan and 0.5 per cent in Hong Kong. The Dow futures, however, traded in the red and at 5pm stood marginally weaker.

Wednesday's turnover of 1.9 billion units worth S$1.1 billion was about average for the year so far and compares with Tuesday's 1.8 billion units worth S$1.1 billion. Excluding warrants, there were 224 rises versus 190 falls throughout.

The standout performer within the STI this year has undoubtedly been Singtel - as at the close of Tuesday's session, the counter had risen 17.4 per cent.

Macquarie Warrants (MW) in the daily newsletter said the stock is currently taking ranks among some of the best-performing statistics in the Singapore market.

"In the last 2.5 weeks, as equity markets have seen a post-Brexit rally, it has outperformed not just the local STI (+3.9 per cent), but is also the regional outperformer - Hang Seng Index's +4.8 per cent, with its 12.8 per cent gain," said MW. "It was also relatively unscathed during the Brexit sell-down."