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Singapore shares close lower but off their intraday floors

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TUESDAY'S short-covering bounce proved short-lived as the downtrend resumed on Wednesday with the Straits Times Index (STI) dropping four points to 2,777.11. Penny stocks which exploded into life last week and on Monday continued to flounder, led by recent outperfomer ISR Capital which plunged S$0.018 or 20.7 per cent to S$0.069 on volume of 22.6 million.

Turnover amounted to 1.9 billion units worth S$1.06 billion, of which S$787 million or 74 per cent was generated by trading in the 30 index members. Excluding warrants, the market recorded 176 rises versus 192 falls.

A steep fall in Hong Kong and a weak session for the Dow futures were cited as the main factors to short the market. The latter was more influential in directing movements here - after a fall of more than 30 points, it stood only three points in the red at 5 pm, enabling the STI to climb 18 points off its intraday floor of 2,759 as traders bet on Wall Street rising on Wednesday.