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Singapore shares close lower; STI's loss capped by jump in Singtel


A S$0.07 rise in Singtel to S$4.27 on Thursday helped offset the effect on the Straits Times Index (STI) of losses in all three banks. Also helping were positive sessions in Hong Kong and the Dow futures market, with the latter gaining about 50 points, indicating a likely firm Thursday for Wall Street. The net effect was the STI's loss was capped at 5.75 points at 2,869.82, which came with average turnover of one billion units valued at S$1.02 billion. Singtel's support amounted to about seven points.

Oil and gas (O&G) stocks had a mixed session, perhaps to be expected given the volatility of the past fortnight after the bankruptcy of O&G company Swiber Holdings. Keppel Corp, Ezra and Ezion ended unchanged, while in Sembcorp Marine's case, its S$0.07 or 5.4 per cent jump to S$1.37 on volume of 23.5 million drew a mid-afternoon query from the Singapore Exchange.

The company replied just after trading ended that it did not know of reasons behind the interest in its shares.

On Wednesday, O&G company Pacific Radiance was queried on reasons why its shares plunged S$0.025 or 18 per cent to S$0.112. Before it replied in the negative on Wednesday evening, the company issued a general business update saying that even though its exposure to Swiber will have some impact on its net tangible assets and earnings per share for this year, its cash flow should not be significantly affected.