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Singapore stocks finish mixed as banks drag STI lower

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THE three banks have virtually single-handedly driven the Straits Times Index up about 62 points or 2 per cent on Tuesday and Wednesday, so it comes as no surprise that they also were almost solely responsible for Thursday's 9.19 points loss at 3,228.62.

DBS's S$0.38 drop to S$20.45 on volume of 5.9 million cut 8.7 points off, while losses in OCBC and UOB accounted for a further two points.

Hectic trading of the banks - largely based on expectations that the worst is over for them - has helped shore up dollar volume, although there are signs that this is slipping back.

Turnover on Thursday was 2.2 billion units units worth S$1.25 billion, down sharply from Wednesday's S$1.5 billion. Excluding warrants there were 252 rises versus 229 falls, so trading was more mixed than weak.

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