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Singapore shares end higher for fifth straight session, up 1.6%

THE Straits Times Index (STI) ended higher on Friday for the fifth straight session at 2,751.50, up 44.30 points or 1.6 per cent.

Advancers outpaced decliners 347 to 140, with about 1.49 billion securities worth S$1.66 billion having changed hands.

The blue-chip index built on gains in the afternoon after a muted start to the day, following a dip in US shares as pessimism on the official May jobs report weighed on the trading session. 

Meanwhile, strong stimulus support continue to boost sentiments elsewhere. The European Central Bank approved a 130 billion-euro (S$205.2 billion) stimulus package that surpassed expectations. Meanwhile, the White House is also expected to spend up to US$1 trillion in another round of economic stimulus.

Said AxiCorp's chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes: "Liquidity supports risk assets as stimulus impetus becomes too hard to fight, although skepticism remains high on the critic's list for a rapid return to economic normalcy."

While “upward momentum in risk appetite has faltered slightly”, Mr Innes pointed out that markets have been willing to look past weak economic data by focusing on the recovery phase.

Among the STI constituents, Jardine Matheson Holdings emerged as the best-performing stock for the day, gaining 4.7 per cent or US$2.01 to US$44.55.

At the bottom of the STI's table was Singapore Airlines, falling 1.1 per cent or S$0.05 to S$4.33. The only other two stocks that ended in the red were Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Wilmar International, dipping 0.7 per cent to S$1.36 and 0.5 per cent to S$4.07 respectively. 

SPH was among the heavily-traded stocks, following news that Mapletree Industrial Trust will replace the media-and-property group on the benchmark STI from June 22. Mapletree Industrial Trust rose 3.8 per cent to S$2.75.

The most active counter was Singtel, gaining 1.9 per cent or S$0.05 to S$2.63, with 36 million shares having changed hands.

With the exception of Malaysia, the STI performance was in line with regional benchmarks including Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and Japan, which sustained their rallies. 

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