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Singapore shares close sharply lower as O&M concerns return

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MONDAY'S short-covering bounce having been completed paved the way for the selling to resume on Tuesday, with the Straits Times Index (STI) plunging 35.85 points or 1.2 per cent to 2,856.67 as concerns over the health of the offshore and marine (O&M) sector took grip.

Banks were among the top index losers, though the largest fall was reserved for Singtel, which traded ex-dividend and whose S$0.13 drop to S$4.05 cut 13 points off the STI.

Turnover amounted to a moderate 1.3 billion units worth S$1.04 billion but this would have likely been higher had Hong Kong not been closed because of Typhoon Nida. Excluding warrants, the market recorded 128 rises versus 308 falls.

O&M stocks and those operating in the periphery to the sector have been battered in the past few sessions following the shock collapse of one of its members, Swiber, when it first applied to be liquidated last week, then changed this to an application to be placed under judicial management.

Shares of DBS, which is said to have the greatest exposure among banks to Swiber, dropped S$0.21 or 1.4 per cent to S$15.15 on volume of 6.5 million.