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Singapore shares close weaker as China weakness overshadows Dow futures' rise

THE Straits Times Index (STI) on Monday drifted to an 11.4 points loss at 2,852.41 in a weak session that saw only 840 million units worth S$834 million traded and the broad market excluding warrants recording 124 rises versus 266 falls.

It was the index's fifth fall in six sessions since the start of last week, the only rise coming last Thursday.

Movements in the STI on Monday were dictated by two sources - China's stock markets and the futures contract on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The former underwent a volatile session before closing weaker on the day; the latter jumped about 100 points in Asian trading, thus suggesting Wall Street on Monday would rebound from a steep Friday loss.

Given how poorly turnover compared with last week's already-low daily average of just over S$1 billion, brokers understandably were unflattering in the assessment of current conditions, especially when S$609 million or 73 per cent of dollar volume traded was done in the 30 STI components as this meant that the remaining 700 or so stocks contributed only 27 per cent.

The average value of each traded unit was almost S$1, suggesting lowered interest in penny stocks compared to last week. The day's most active stock was Stratech Group, which ended unchanged at S$0.059 on a volume of 65.1 million. Other familiar names in the list included YuuZoo, Ezra Holdings and IHC.

In the case of e-payments and social media firm YuuZoo, the company on Monday announced it has secured access to a S$30 million funding facility from GEM Global Yield Fund, a New York-based private alternative investment group. The counter on Monday added S$0.01 at S$0.144 with 56.2 million shares done.