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Singapore shares close lower with STI down for 8th straight session

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EIGHT days and counting - the Straits Times Index (STI) on Wednesday dropped for the eighth consecutive session, losing 38.13 points or 1.4 per cent to 2,773.07. The selling was fairly spread out within the index, with Singtel, Wilmar and OCBC the largest losers. Turnover at 898 million units worth S$1.23 billion was relatively heavy as it surpassed the S$1 billion average of the past week. Excluding warrants, there were 102 rises versus 276 falls.

Reasons for the weakness were the same as they had been for many months - worry over global growth starting in China, growing awareness that monetary stimulus by central banks has not worked, volatility in the oil market and concerns over whether US interest rates will continue to head upwards.

Over in Hong Kong the Hang Seng fell 0.7 per cent, while in the futures market the June contract on the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost about 20 points.

The day's most active stock was offshore and marine counter Ezra, which lost S$0.003 at S$0.096 on volume of 46 million. Of the 20 top actives, 14 closed weaker.

Singtel's S$0.07 fall to S$3.76 came with 28 million shares traded and provided the biggest drag on the STI, knocking off about six points. Among the banks DBS ended unchanged at S$15.35 with 7.6 million shares done. OCBC and UOB both ended weaker.