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Singapore shares close up 0.55% on Friday

SINGAPORE - Friday was another quiet day on the local market, although the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) closed at a fresh two-year high.

The index was up by 18.98 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 3,442.15, with gainers outnumbering losers 243 to 172.

But the movement was largely on the back of "kacang putih" stock activity, with nearly 2.57 billion shares changing hands worth just S$911.9 million.

The STI was, for the second time in three days, at its highest since May 2015.

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Early childhood education provider MindChamps PreSchool, which made its debut on the bourse at S$0.83 a share, finished its first day 10.8 per cent higher at S$0.92, on a turnover of 21.7 million shares.

Thai Beverage, whose 38.5 per cent jump in full-year net profit met with analysts' measured approval, closed up by S$0.03, or 3.19 per cent, at S$0.97.

Another hot stock for the day, albeit in the wrong direction, was aluminium alloy company Midas Holdings.

More than 39.4 million shares were moved over the course of the day, leaving Midas down by 0.6 Singapore cent, or 3.9 per cent, to S$0.148.

Midas was slapped with a query by the bourse operator over heavy selling in its stock, to which it said that it was not aware of any information that could explain the unusual trading activity.