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Singapore stocks finish higher, STI up 2.2% for week thanks to banks, Jardine

THE banking sector was once again the focal point of the week, initially rising on expectations of a December US rate hike, then falling sharply on Tuesday and Wednesday when traders switched into China banks trading in Hong Kong following a reserve requirement rate (RRR) cut by China's central bank.

In the final two days of the week, traders rediscovered their appetite for local banks, possibly aided by generous amounts of short-covering. Throughout the five days the fate of the Straits Times Index was largely determined by the banks and Jardine stocks and on Friday, the index owed about 15 points of its eventual 29.45 points rise to 3,291.29 to the banks and Jardine Matheson. For the week, the index gained 72 points or 2.2 per cent.

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