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Singapore stocks close mixed despite banks driving STI higher

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THE three banks have been pivotal in sending the Straits Times Index (STI) upwards over the past year or so, and it was again the case on Tuesday that gains in all three that came after OCBC released better-than-expected figures helped the index rise 12.99 points to 3,249.97.

Turnover was a robust 2.2 billion units worth S$1.4 billion and in keeping with many sessions this month, the broad market with 222 rises versus 235 falls excluding warrants did not reflect the index's strength.

OCBC was the last of the three banks to announce first quarter earnings - a 14 per cent increase year-on-year and a 23 per cent per cent rise quarter-on-quarter to S$973 million. Its shares rose S$0.16 to S$10.46 on volume of 13.9 million, adding six points to the STI. Gains in UOB and DBS added another 5.6 points.

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