STOCKS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Markets Briefing: STI up 0.23%

Expect muted gains today.

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 7.34 points or 0.23% higher to 3260.35, taking the year-to-date performance to -4.19%.

The top active stocks today were DBS, which rose 0.96%, Singtel, which fell 0.61%, UOB, which declined 0.49%, OCBC Bank, which closed unchanged and Genting Sing, with a 0.80% advance.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.59%, whilst the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.64%.

OCBC Investment Research noted that the Dow reclaimed its perch above the 25,000 level for the first time in nearly a month whilst the technology-powered Nasdaq rose to a record high, underlining an uptrend that has been driven by signs of economic strength and solid quarterly earnings, even if results for banks on the day failed to prove an immediate catalyst.

Six out of eleven S&P 500 industries ended higher, led by Consumer Staples (0.63%) and Industrials (0.59%) whilst Telecommunication Services (-0.75%) and Financials (-0.46%) led the declines. The index posted 1.50% weekly gains.

"The continued strength on Wall Street Friday could keep local sentiment fairly positive today," OCBC Investment Research said.

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