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Singapore shares gain 0.5% on Wednesday

IT was a mixed day for markets in Asia, following the release of encouraging data from China which beat market expectations. But the Singapore benchmark index pressed ahead.

Outperforming regional peers, the Straits Times Index (STI) closed at 3,348.64, up 16.60 points or 0.5 per cent. The blue-chip index had crossed the 3,350 mark during Wednesday's session.

Trading clocked in at 1.18 billion securities, around 93 per cent of the daily average in the first three months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$1.15 billion, higher than the January-to-March daily average by about 12 per cent.

Decliners slightly outpaced advancers at 213 to 206.

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Compared to the broader market, the benchmark index fared better on the day, with 10 of the 30 blue chips that make up the STI ending in the red.

Among them, Genting Singapore was the blue-chip index's most traded. The casino operator dropped 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.5 per cent to S$0.96 with 25.9 million shares changing hands.

Bellwether banking counters all ended Wednesday's session in positive territory. DBS Group Holdings closed S$0.33 or 1.2 per cent up at S$27.49. Meanwhile, OCBC Bank finished three Singapore cents or 0.3 per cent higher at S$11.72 and United Overseas Bank added S$0.21 or 0.8 per cent to end at S$26.87.

Among non-STI counters, Asian Pay Television Trust continued its run as the bourse's most traded counter this week. The business trust that is focused on pay-TV businesses fell 1.3 Singapore cents or 6.9 per cent to close at 17.6 cents on 71.2 million units. The counter had gained 31.7 per cent during the first two sessions of the week after an announcement by its trustee-manager that it is undertaking an independent strategic review of the trust and its main asset, Taiwan Broadband Communications Group.