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Singapore stocks finish higher thanks to hopes of US rate hike in December

THE three banks were once again the beneficiaries of expectations that US interest rates will be raised in December with all three ending stronger on Thursday after the overnight release of the minutes of the September US Federal Open Markets Committee meeting which showed that Fed officials believe the economy there to be strong enough to withstand a third hike for 2017.

Boosted by gains in DBS, UOB and OCBC, the Straits Times Index finished 22.81 points stronger at 3,303.09, a rise that came despite a 20-point fall in the Dow futures that indicated a weak opening for Wall Street.

Turnover amounted to an average 2.5 billion units worth S$1.05 billion of which S$141.2 million or 13.4 per cent was done in the three banks. Excluding warrants there were 255 rises versus 184 falls, so the index's reading did indeed signify a firm session.

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