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Singapore shares close higher as Dow futures rebound 190 points

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AFTER dropping 64 points in two days of post-Brexit selling, the Straits Times Index (STI) on Tuesday rebounded 26.68 points to 2,756.53. Short-covering and possible early window-dressing of key blue chips were likely contributors to the upward push, the latter coming two days before the end of the first half.

Turnover amounted to 1.1 billion worth S$1.14 billion, slightly elevated because of volatility induced by the UK's vote to leave the European Union. Excluding warrants, there were 232 rises versus 139 falls.

In other markets, the Hang Seng finished with a 0.3 per cent loss, the Nikkei ended practically unchanged and the Dow futures rose 190 points. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average's two-day loss over Friday and Monday amounted to 670 points.

Given the uncertainty shrouding Britain's EU withdrawal, brokers were understandably hesitant to draw any conclusions about the bounce. "Possibly a dead cat," was one comment, while another was that if funds were looking for defensive safe havens in the region, the Singapore market should benefit.

The day's most active stock was Noble Group, which traded ex- a one-for-one rights issue. Based on its closing Monday price of S$0.215 and the rights price of S$0.11, the theoretical ex-rights price worked out to around S$0.16. The stock ended Tuesday at S$0.18 on volume of 226.5 million.

For the second consecutive day the STI's main support came from Singtel, its S$0.10 rise to S$3.99 on 43.3 million shares traded and adding about 10 points to the index.