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Singapore stocks mixed after Fed chief's testimony

Singapore shares closed mixed on Friday, following a cautiously optimistic view of the US economy from the head of the Federal Reserve.

SINGAPORE: Singapore shares closed mixed on Friday, following a cautiously optimistic view of the US economy from the head of the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark ST Index added 14.04 points, or 0.45 per cent, to end at 3,110.78 on turnover of S$1.19 billion.

Volume totalled 1.68 billion shares, as losers outnumbered gainers 222 to 197.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation eased 0.21 percent to S$9.56, while vehicle distributor Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 3.02 percent to S$39.24.

Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that central bank policymakers thought severe weather across much of the country was to blame for a disappointing run of economic data over the past two months, including on jobs, industrial output and consumption.

However, she said they would be keeping a close eye on the economy to see if the weak figures continue, which could lead to a slower pace of cuts to the stimulus programme.

Each of the Fed's past two meetings have seen it cut its bond purchases by US$10 billion a month, to a current US$65 billion.

Her comments provided the platform for a record close on Wall Street, while forex traders sold the dollar on the possibility that the bank's bond-buying could continue for longer.

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