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Singapore shares edge up on Friday, gain 0.4% on the week

IT remained a sleepy period and understandably so, with the Christmas holiday taking place in the mid-week.

While many market participants were on break, most of the region's markets were back up and running on Friday in what was largely a positive day after Wall Street's three main indices closed at record highs on Thursday.

That said, traders (those that were active, that is) noted that the strong finishes in New York did not translate to early jumps in the region's benchmarks on Friday.

Oanda Asia-Pacific senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley was of the view investors in the Asia-Pacific were waiting for China's industrial profits for November to be released, which turns out better than street estimates.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) was mostly flat before a late bump to finish the week at 3,226.53, up 3.54 points or 0.1 per cent.

On the week, the blue-chip index gained 14.14 points or 0.4 per cent from last Friday's close of 3,212.39.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan all posted strong gains to close the trading week out. Meanwhile, Japan ended in the red while China was little moved.

Among the region's key benchmarks, Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 361.21 points or 1.3 per cent to 28,225.42, its best closing level since July 26.

On Friday, trading volume in Singapore clocked in at 1.38 billion securities, 16 per cent over the daily average in the first 11 months of 2019 but total turnover clocked in at S$544.70 million, half the January-to-November daily average, suggesting heavy penny activity was at play.

Across the market, advancers trumped decliners 239 to 159. Nine of the benchmark's 30 counters ended in the red.

Golden Agri-Resources was the Singapore bourse's most active counter on Friday. The palm oil plantation owner, which was dropped from the STI from Dec 23, finished S$0.02 or 9.3 per cent higher at 23.5 cents with 192.2 million shares changing hands.

ST Engineering was little affected after the mainboard-listed company on Thursday closed a Brazilian unit as part of its ongoing efforts to streamline its corporate structure. Its shares added S$0.02 or 0.5 per cent to S$3.95. While ST Engineering did not disclose the nature of this unit's business, the closure is not expected to have any material impact on its consolidated net tangible asset per share and earnings per share for the current financial year. 

Among companies in the second line, Thomson Medical Group finished 0.7 Singapore cent or 11.7 per cent higher at 6.7 cents with 100.3 million shares traded.

Dyna-Mac Holdings continued to post strong gains this week. On Friday, the offshore oil and gas contractor added 1.3 Singapore cents or 8.2 per cent to close at 17.1 cents, extending a two-and-a-half-year high, with 54.6 million shares changing hands.