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Investors Eye US Job Data

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by Donavan Lim

Shrugging off a weak performance from regional bourses, Singapore shares ended higher on Friday.

While investors were disappointed that European Central Bank failed last night to announce immediate measures to solve the eurozone debt crisis, hopes were high that a weak US jobs data tonight will force the US Fed to take firmer action.

The benchmark Straits Times Index closed at 3051.33, up 15.14 points.

Financials delivered a mixed performance. DBS Group Holdings edged up S$0.06 to close at S$14.75. The bank has announced a better-than-expected 10 per cent rise in 2Q2012 earnings.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp continued to lose ground closing at S$9.40 as the bank had earlier warned of margin pressure going forward. United Overseas Bank closed up at S$19.97.

Commodity counters performed well. Olam International was up S$0.01, closing at S$1.875 while its rival, Noble Group closed at S$1.075, gaining S$0.005.

Regionally, the Nikkei 225 Index and the Hang Seng Index ended down at 8,555.11 and 19666.18 respectively.

“With US payrolls looming, euro bulls will be hoping for a shocker to really solidify QE3 expectations. Interestingly, in recent times US data has held up relatively well compared to expectations, so there is no reason to believe we will see a really poor number,” stated Jason Huges of IG Markets.