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Singapore stocks close mixed; STI at new 18-month high but gains not widespread

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THE Straits Times Index on Monday managed a 13.8 points rise to an 18-month high of 3,147.15 despite a slide in oil prices to a three-month low. Trading however, was cautious ahead of this week's Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting at which an interest rate hike is a near certainty - volume was average at 2.2 billion units worth S$1.15 billion. The advance-decline score however, was almost even at 244-243.

There was a noticeable loss of upward momentum in property stocks on Monday following the large push on Friday that came when the government announced a partial loosening of restrictions on the sector.

CapitaLand, Hong Fok and Wing Tai for example, traded in the red for most of the session, UOL closed just S$0.02 higher at S$6.94 and only City Developments kept up its Friday pace when it rose S$0.35 or 3.4 per cent to S$10.50 on turnover of 5. 3million. The FTSE ST Real Estate Index managed a 0.5 per cent rise.

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