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Singapore shares close week higher in line with Wall Street


WALL Street's return to "bad economic news is good for stocks" has probably been the main driving force behind the Straits Times Index's 205 point, or 7.3 per cent, rise over the week to 2,998.5, of which 51.47 points came on Friday.

Also helping has been a relatively stable China market given the massive volatility it displayed last month.

Here, the overwhelming focus has been on blue chips throughout the past month, almost to the exclusion of the rest of the market. For most of the year up to September, a ballpark estimate of the proportion of daily dollar volume that was done in the 30 index components would be around 45-55 per cent; this week, the figure was around 75 per cent.

On Friday, turnover in the whole market amounted to 1.9 billion units worth S$1.4 billion of which S$1.1 billion or 79 per cent came from trades in STI members.

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Friday's most active index component was also the day's most liquid stock - commodities firm Noble Group's shares jumped S$0.065 or 16 per cent to S$0.47 on volume of 245 million after the company announced new senior executive appointments which observers said brought hope the company is revamping its strategy in response to the prolonged bear market in commodities.