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Singapore: After an early bounce, stocks finish in the red

The director activity was low last week with only eight companies recording 20 purchases worth S$4.6 million and no sales, based on filings on the Singapore Exchange from Feb 23 to 27.

The Straits Times Index on Tuesday first bounced up 20 points in response to Wall Street's Monday rally but as the day wore on, traders either sold into strength or went short, resulting in the index finishing with a net loss of 6.09 points at 3,369.95.

Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gave up triple-digit gains to close in the red. The speculation was that the US market's Monday rebound would prove temporary and that it would come under renewed pressure on Tuesday. The US Federal Reserve's Open Markets Committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide on interest rates.

Whatever the case, turnover here at 1.4 billion units worth S$1.2 billion was an improvement on Monday's S$901 million and excluding warrants, the advance-decline score was 177-288.

Unlike previous sessions where the index was dragged lower by a small handful of stocks, Tuesday's fall was broad-based and included members of the Jardine group, Keppel Corp, banks, SIA and Noble Group.