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Singapore shares close lower in line with Wall Street weakness

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WEDNESDAY'S trading session was cautious and volatile as traders looked to the Dow futures for direction following the large swings on Wall Street over the past few days.

The Straits Times Index (STI) first slid to an intraday low of 2,800 before climbing up to 2,809.35 for a net loss of 9.03 points at 5pm. This was almost in exact lockstep with the movements in the Dow futures, the latter recording a 25 point rise at 5pm which gave hope that Wall Street would stabilise on Wednesday.

Turnover amounted to 1.2 billion units worth S$1.05 billion compared to Tuesday's S$1.4 billion, and excluding warrants there were 160 rises versus 187 falls. Trading in the 30 index components accounted for S$688.3 million or 66 per cent of total business.

Among the day's actives was investment firm ISR Capital, whose shares rose 23 per cent on Tuesday and a further S$0.013 or 10.5 per cent to S$0.137 on volume of 35.2 million on Wednesday. The Singapore Exchange (SGX) despatched a query to the company in the early afternoon on Wednesday; ISR had yet to reply before trading closed at 5pm.

Also queried was electrical installation firm ITE Electric, whose shares rose S$0.003 to S$0.085 on volume of just under 10 million. SGX's query highlighted the unusual volume; the counter on Tuesday traded two million shares and only 1,700 on Friday. Like ISR, ITE had not replied before 5pm.