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Singapore shares close mixed in thin trading

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THE Straits Times Index (STI) on Monday dipped 0.19 of a point to 2,867.21, volume was a low 815.1 million units worth S$721.1 million and excluding warrants there were 212 rises versus 179 falls.

These were the main statistics for a mainly quiet and featureless session, perhaps surprisingly given Wall Street’s strength in recent days and that the Dow futures gained about 35 points during Asian trading hours on Monday.

Over in North Asia, the Hang Seng Index ended 0.7 per cent higher, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite gained 2.4 per cent.

Most of the support for the STI this year has come from the outperformance of Singtel and so it was again on Monday when a S$0.06 rise in the stock to S$4.31 added about six points to the index.

In a Monday report, RHB maintained its “neutral” recommendation for Singtel, noting that the counter’s share price, which is 19 per cent up for the year so far, has outperformed the Straits Times Index by 17 per cent helped by its yield, a relatively stable Sing dollar versus the Australian dollar exchange rate over the past six months and its smaller exposure to the domestic mobile market which means Singtel is less vulnerable to potential fourth player risks in the market.