TRADERS who thought conditions in the local stock market couldn't be worse than last week found that they were wrong when trading this week kicked off with a paltry 1.8 billion units worth S$596.6 million traded, the lowest one-day total this year largely because Hong Kong was closed to celebrate Buddha's birthday.
The Straits Times Index, however, ended 10.67 points higher at 3,460.85, probably dragged higher by the intense activity in China, where the major indices enjoyed yet another large rally.
The broad market excluding warrants saw 195 rises versus 248 falls but it was volume which traders felt was much more important; one said "the reason stocks with plenty of fundamentals here can fall and stocks there with nothing close fundamentally can rise is simply because their market is so much more liquid".
With not much activity in blue chips, traders quite understandably spent their time trawling the second line, naturally attracted to counters with the most liquidity. That this was the case was evident from the average value per unit traded - S$0.33.