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Singapore shares end higher on Friday, up 0.6% on the week

WITH the dust settling on the confirmation that a US-China "Phase One" trade deal is a go, Asian equities put in a mixed session to close the week out, despite Wall Street extending record highs on Thursday. 

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) spent the session floating around before a late bump to finish the week at 3,212.39, up 4.97 points or 0.15 per cent. On the week, the blue-chip index gained 17.68 points or 0.6 per cent from last Friday's close of 3,194.71.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all had losses to close the trading week out. On the other hand, Hong Kong and Malaysia managed to post gains.

While this week's market performance in Asia has paled in comparison to those in the US and Europe, investors are likely to continue rotation into risk-friendly assets to end the year.

"Going forth, we are of the view that global indices are likely to remain buoyant from the window-dressing effect, which would generally kick in during this period," Phillip Futures investment analyst Samuel Siew noted.

Trading volume here clocked in at 1.32 billion securities, 11 per cent of the daily average in the first 11 months of 2019. Meanwhile, total turnover clocked in at S$1.43 billion, 34 per cent over the January-to-November daily average.

Across the market, decliners outpaced advancers 198 to 182. Twelve of the benchmark's 30 counters ended in the red.

With FTSE index changes taking effect from Monday, there was a flurry of activity on counters that are being added or dropped.

Mapletree Logistics Trust, which will be added to the STI, gained S$0.02 or 1.2 per cent to S$1.70 with 25.2 million units traded. Manulife US Reit closed three US cents or 2.9 per cent lower at US$1.00 with 64.6 million units changing hands ahead of FTSE EPRA Nareit Index inclusion. Sasseur Reit fell 1.5 Singapore cents or 1.7 per cent to 88.5 cents prior to its inclusion on the FTSE EPRA Nareit Global Emerging Index.

E-commerce-focused EC World Reit dipped S$0.01 or 1.3 per cent to 75.5 cents with 20.1 million units traded. Friday's volume was mainly due to a married trade of 17.5 million units or 2.2 per cent of total outstanding shares at 73.4 cents.  

Among pennies, Rex International shares added 0.2 Singapore cent or 1.1 per cent to 18.8 cents. Masirah Oil, an indirect unit of the upstream oil and gas company, is proposing to issue US$4.5 million of preference shares priced at US$477.70 each to Trace Atlantic Oil to fund its drilling activities and operations in Oman. 

Rex's indirect stake of 92.65 per cent in Masirah will be reduced to 87.4 per cent following the deal.