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Singapore shares finish higher, STI now +6.4% for 2017


NEW US president Donald Trump's actions continued to dominate headlines this week, even if it now appears very likely that his "America First" campaign slogan will translate to protectionist trade practices and greater insularity that could damage the global economy.

Here, the return of some degree of "animal spirits" helped push the Straits Times Index (STI) past 3,000 on Jan 11 and has now enabled the index to cross 3,050, perhaps not that significant a milestone as far as chart technicians are concerned but certainly psychologically important.

On Friday, a 13.07 points rise for the STI took it to 3,064.85, though overall turnover was low even for a half-day session at 865 million units worth S$585 million. Excluding warrants, the advance-decline score was 172-144.

For the week, the index's gain was 53 points or 1.7 per cent, bringing its 2017 rise to 6.4 per cent.

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Given recent weakness in the US dollar because of comments made by Mr Trump, the STI has vastly outperformed Wall Street - even if the latter is at an all-time high - with a 2017 gain of 7.7 per cent in US dollar terms versus 1.7 per cent for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.