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Singapore shares close 1.4% lower on Thursday

THE Singapore market ended 1.4 per cent lower on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index shedding 40.15 points to 2,888.03 as investors suffered another bout of nerves over whether the United States will start raising interest rates later this month.

The blue-chip index was weighed down by the three local banks and Singtel.

About 914 million shares worth S$759 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of S$0.83 per share. Losers outnumbered gainers 303 to 129.

The most actively traded stock was offshore services firm Ezra Holdings, which fell S$0.002 to S$0.127 with a volume of 40.7 million. Other actives included Healthway Medical and commodity trader Noble Group.

"Markets will remain volatile until the Fed meeting next week," said Nader Naeimi, head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors, in a Bloomberg report. "Investors are again focusing on the potential US interest-rate increase and how it would impact emerging markets."

The US Federal Reserve will hold a policy meeting on Sept 16-17.