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Singapore: Stocks inch higher in muted trading; Wall Street rebound expected


As March 31 draws nearer, thoughts among traders must inevitably be turning to whether the Straits Times Index will enjoy a quarter-ending window-dressing push and if so, which stocks might be employed.

These thoughts are understandable given that at the end of Wednesday's session in which the STI rose 5.76 points to 3,419.02, the year-to-date performance stands at just 1.6 per cent, feeble by most standard given zero interest rates and a supposedly recovering US economy. Still, the rise in the index came in tandem with a rise in Hong Kong and the US futures market, so traders were clearly betting on Wall Street rebounding on Wednesday from its Tuesday drop.

Turnover was a concern throughout 2014 and although it picked up slightly in January and February this year, it still remains a worry. On Wednesday, 1.24 billion units worth S$950.6 million were traded, below the S$1-1.2 billion daily average of recent weeks. Excluding warrants, there were 240 rises versus 167 falls.

The index's gain came mainly from rises in UOB, Singtel and Keppel Corp, whilst the unit volume list was headed by SIIC Environment which rose S$0.014 or 9.3 per cent to S$0.164 on volume of 135.6 million.