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Uptrend in SGX trading turnover

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The recovery in the technology and commodity sectors and a surge in bank and property stocks have helped push up share-trading turnover at the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

The average value of securities trades grew 7 per cent to $1.2 billion a day in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year. Trading volumes rose as well, with an average of 2.33 billion shares changing hands a day, up 48 per cent on the first half of 2016. This increase was due in part to the rise in the number of Catalist board listings.

Most regional bourses saw their average daily values decline in June, with Malaysia the biggest laggard. "Singapore has been outperforming other markets until June when we had a cyclical holiday slowdown", said Mr Chew Sutat, the SGX's head of equities and fixed income.

Still, Asian markets have generally done well despite rising interest rates and more geopolitical uncertainty.

For now, unease about a looming end to an era of ultra-cheap money has given way to optimism about global growth, with stronger-than- expected United States non-farm payrolls report released last week boosting risk appetite.

"Singapore is behind India, (South) Korea and Taiwan, but closely tracking Hong Kong in terms of total returns in US dollars," Mr Chew said.

"The Singapore market is very consistent; volatility here is lower than in the rest of the Asian markets... Singapore is a safe market to extract value."

Singapore has been a beneficiary of the technology industry's robust performance around the world, especially on the Nasdaq Composite in New York. "The tech sector here was re-rated earlier this year. New tech stocks or those tied to data centres and hardware are also beneficiaries," Mr Chew said.