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Singapore shares close higher, raising hopes that selling may have dried up - for now

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THERE are hopes that Thursday's session marked the end of the selling for the time being. Alternatively, there are hopes that short sellers, having already bet correctly over the past fortnight, have now great incentive to cover their positions rather than hold on for more gains.

Either way, these hopes have arisen because of the relatively sedate response here to Wednesday's Wall Street blowout that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunge more than 200 points or 1.2 per cent - the Straits Times Index (STI) hovered within a tight band, periodically dipping into the red before ending a net 12.52 points higher at 2,745.39.

Undoubtedly, short-covering played a major role on Thursday, given that the STI had lost 7.7 per cent in a near-straight line plunge since closing at 2,960 on April 21.

Among low-priced issues, shares of social e-commerce firm YuuZoo plunged S$0.019 or 9.5 per cent to S$0.181 on volume of 49 million, after its external auditors Moore Stephens issued a disclaimer that it has not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion.