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Singapore shares close 1.2% higher

SHARE prices in the Singapore bourse rose with the key Straits Times Index finishing at 3,598.73 on Thursday - up 41 points or 1.2 per cent.

This marked the key barometer's third straight day of gains, led by easing geopolitical tensions over Syria and North Korea and a report by the US Federal Reserve reaffirming the strength of the world's largest economy.

Rising oil prices that touched fresh multi-year highs and broadly positive corporate earnings out of the US further boosted risk appetite for equities.

"While the elimination of oversupply has been a critical factor pushing oil prices, I still believe there's a significant risk premium being priced in, specifically the fear of supply disruption from the Middle East and possible renewed sanctions on Russia and Iran," said FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed.

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Turnover in the whole market came in at 1.6 billion shares worth S$1.4 billion versus Wednesday's 2.2 billion shares worth S$1.5 billion as gainers outpaced losers with 243 counters up and 182 counters down.

US stocks finished mostly higher overnight Wednesday on upbeat corporate earnings and a surge in energy stocks but the Dow closed marginally lower, dragged down by IBM's disappointing outlook.