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STI gains 2.5% for the week, slips into the red for the year

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THE Straits Times Index (STI) ended a volatile week on Friday with a 21.15 points loss at 2,873.33 that cut its gain for the five days to 70 points or 2.5 per cent.

In keeping with the three previous times this year that it managed to poke its nose above its 2016 starting level of 2,882, a rise to an intra-week closing high of 2,896 on Tuesday proved short-lived, Friday's loss taking the index about nine points into the red for the year.

Turnover on Friday amounted to 1.4 billion units worth S$815.6 million, much lower than the already-mediocre S$1 billion average of the previous days but perhaps understandable given that Monday is a public holiday. Excluding warrants, there were 152 rises versus 208 falls.

As always, daily fluctuations in the index were dictated by expectations of how Wall Street might perform in the session ahead, rather than how it did the day before.

In this regard, traders kept a close eye on the Dow futures for signals of whether to go long, short, or to cover their shorts.