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Singapore shares close weaker as penny momentum slows

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Penny stock punting continued on Thursday, albeit in much more subdued fashion, most probably since the bulk of retail players have not been participating. The Straits Times Index in the meantime, first gained about 13 points but lost all of this in the late afternoon, closing with a nett loss of 2.8 points at 3,356.37.

PENNY stock punting continued on Thursday, albeit in much more subdued fashion, most probably since the bulk of retail players have not been participating. The Straits Times Index in the meantime, first gained about 13 points but lost all of this in the late afternoon, closing with a nett loss of 2.8 points at 3,356.37.

Turnover amounted to 2.3 billion units worth S$1 billion, the former down sharply from the 3.2 billion done on Tuesday and of the latter, S$680 million or 68 per cent came from the 30 STI components. The average value traded was S$0.45 per unit and of the top 20 most actively traded counters, 18 were priced S$0.30 and below.

There was clear evidence that punters were rotating in and out of stocks trying to capitalise on any momentum that might get generated. Penny leader CEFC International did not feature at all in the top volume list which this time was headed by New Silkroutes. Other names that popped into life included Sitra, Armarda and IEV.

Some of the actives have been queried by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in recent days but on Thursday, property developer Starland was queried for large rise that came in relatively low volume - the stock rose S$0.032 or 21.6 per cent to S$0.18 on turnover of 1.08 million. Managed by a Singaporean, the company specialises in developing real estate in China.

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Although pennies were the dominant play, commodities firm Noble Group also featured, dropping S$0.02 to S$0.63 on volume of 127.5 million. Corporate whistleblower Iceberg Research this week launched a third attack on Noble, saying that the latter's move to appoint an independent committee to conduct an enquiry into its accounting will not work.

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