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Singapore shares edge higher on Friday, up 3.4% on the week

THE positive sentiment of the week continued to radiate in the Singapore market despite a low volume day across markets in Asia as China and Hong Kong were closed for holiday.

Investors had also been encouraged by the positive statements of leaders of both the US and China on trade negotiations.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) closed Friday trading up 6.43 points or 0.2 per cent to close at 3,322.64. On the week, the blue-chip index gained 109.76 points or 3.4 per cent from last Friday's close of 3,212.88 on the back of the buoyant mood in Asia.

Trading clocked in  953.80 million securities, about 69 per cent of the daily average over the first two months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$976.29 million, 95 per cent of the January-to-February daily average. Advancers outnumbered decliners 238 to 147. 

Nico Steel was the bourse's most active counter with 81.6 million shares traded. Shares in the metals supplier added 0.1 Singapore cent to close at 0.6 cent.

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Twenty-two of the STI's 30 constituents ended the day in the black. Among them, Genting Singapore was the blue-chip index's most traded. Following a sell-off that ended with a near 10 per cent slide on Thursday, shares in the casino operator ended Friday's session gaining 1.5 Singapore cents or 1.6 per cent to 98.5 cents with 67.2 million shares changing hands. 

Going by value of trades done, DBS Group Holdings saw S$72.27 million traded - 7.4 per cent of the bourse's value of securities traded - across 2.68 million shares. The bank's shares closed S$0.13 or 0.5 per cent higher at S$26.98.

The other local banks also closed higher on the day. OCBC Bank gained S$0.08 or 0.7 per cent to S$11.71, while United Overseas Bank edged S$0.11 or 0.4 per cent higher to end at S$26.52.

Among non STI counters, civil engineering firm Yongnam Holdings continued to trade heavily with 21.2 million shares changing hands. Its shares ended flat at 18.6 cents.

On Thursday, shares of the specialist civil engineering firm gained 18.5 per cent and its rally continued in Friday's early session hitting a three-month high of 19.6 cents shortly before the midday break.

Market watchers have said that its performance was most likely due to investor optimism that Yongnam stands to benefit from the S$9 billion plans to upgrade the integrated resorts.

"Yongnam had previously won contracts worth over S$340 million for various elements of the Marina Bay Sands resort," a CGS-CIMB report noted.

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