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Singapore: Wall Street's rally helps STI add 22 points

WALL Street's Wednesday rally helped extend the Straits Times Index's (STI) rebound to a second consecutive day on Thursday.

Propelled by gains in Singtel, the banks and Noble Group, the STI finished 21.9 points higher at 3,347.67 with the market recording volume of 1.5 billion units worth S$1.3 billion. In two days, the index has risen a total of 52 points, recovering the loss it suffered in the previous four sessions.

Noble's shares in the morning had slumped to a six-year low of S$0.63 before bouncing up to S$0.705, for a net gain on the day of S$0.06 that came with 168 million shares traded.

The bounce came after the company's chairman Richard Elman despatched a letter to shareholders and colleagues asking for patience and their confidence in light of recent rumours and gossip concerning the company. He said his management team has been working vigorously behind the scenes to protect their interests and they are starting to make progress.

Elsewhere within the index, Singtel ended S$0.03 higher at S$4.17 on volume of 26.1 million. Maybank Kim Eng issued a "hold" on Singtel, albeit with a S$4.50 target price. "Earnings outlook may be muted but downside should be protected by yields of 4.5 per cent. However, we caution against expecting over-generous dividends as heightened capex could cap payouts," said the broker.