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Singapore: Prices slide amid Wall Street volatility

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 slipped 6.31 points to 3,398.26 in a listless and weak session. Traders said volatility on Wall Street created by interest rate worries was casting uncertainty around world markets and affecting overall sentiment. Volume here amounted to 1.2 billion units worth S$1.2 billion and excluding warrants there were 174 rises versus 250 falls.

Most of the loss the index suffered occurred in the final hour after Europe opened in the red across all markets, which, together with a one per cent fall in Hong Kong, suggested a weak Tuesday ahead for Wall Street.

The day's most active stock was Noble Group, which continued its slide into a second day by dropping S$0.065 or 6.5 per cent to S$0.935 on volume of 75.3 million. Last week, the counter gained around 8 per cent after its senior management raised their stakes in the firm, most likely as a show of confidence following an attack launched by a party known as Iceberg Research.

Noble believes a disgruntled former employee is behind Iceberg and has defended itself from the attack. However, it also reported a shock fourth quarter loss of US$240 million when analysts had been expecting a US$98 million profit.