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Singapore shares close lower as Brexit vote looms

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 17:28
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NOT surprisingly, trading on Tuesday was quiet, largely featureless and mainly weak ahead of the UK's referendum on Thursday on whether to remain or exit the eurozone.

The Straits Times Index, which on Monday had enjoyed a 30-point push - reportedly because opinion polls suggested a victory for the "remain" camp - spent most of the day in the red, ending a nett 11.42 points lower at 2,789.45. Turnover however, was a poor 985 million units worth S$942 million despite being boosted by the debut of Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust (FLT) that accounted for S$128 million.

One broker described the session as "the same old, same old" - ie there was largely no difference between Tuesday and any other day this year. If there was any distinguishing feature, it was that concerns in the first quarter surrounding weak oil prices and China's volatility have now been replaced by worries that UK's citizens might elect to exit the eurozone. According to many specialists, such an eventuality would have a disastrous impact on financial markets.

In an otherwise quiet market, the listing of FLT, whose portfolio comprises 51 industrial properties in Australia, gave bored dealers something to trade, albeit within a narrow range. The counter had been offered at S$0.89 per unit and traded between S$0.90 and S$0.93 before closing at S$0.91 on volume of 140.2 million units.