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Singapore shares close weaker; STI drops 2 per cent for the week

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THE Straits Times Index dropped 25.57 points to 2,859.12 on Friday, bringing its loss for the week to 58 points or 2 per cent and for the year to 15 per cent. Turnover throughout the five days was low and focused mainly in blue chips and penny stocks.

Overseas markets provided little direction, most probably as traders wait either for the December US Federal Open Markets Committee meeting at which an interest rate hike is widely expected, or the International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) decision on Monday whether the Chinese yuan should be admitted as a reserve currency.

"We're living through our version of Groundhog Day," said a dealer when asked about trading in the local market, referring to an Amercian movie where the same day keeps repeating itself. "It's been identical every day for almost the whole year, only the names sometimes change."

Among the names which were relatively new this week were new listings Axcelasia and Trendlines, both on Catalist. Professional consulting and tax advisory firm Axcelasia offered its shares at S$0.25 each and ended its debut on Friday at S$0.25 whilst medical and agricultural investor Trendlines, which was Catalist's 100th listing, sold its shares at S$0.33, debuted on Thursday and ended the week at S$0.31.