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THERE were no surprises as the local stock market kicked off the week on a weak note, with the Straits Times Index on Monday dropping 12.94 points to 3,404.57 in response to Wall Street's Friday plunge.
Turnover was about average by recent standards at 1.2 billion units worth S$1.2 billion. Excluding warrants, there were 144 rises against 287 falls.
The session opened with the STI falling about 30 points in early trading, erasing all of its Friday bounce. Thereafter the pressure eased and a bout of short-covering ensued that cut the loss to as little as 10 points, before a weak opening for Europe brought on renewed selling. However, the index managed to reduce its loss in the final seconds, prompting speculation that Wall Street just might stabilised on Monday.
Blue chips which contributed the most to the index's fall were Singtel and CapitaLand, whilst Noble Group's S$0.055 slide to S$1 also weighed on the index. Penny stocks in play included KLW, Unifiber, Advance SCT and Xpress.
Wall Street on Friday closed sharply lower after release of a strong Feb jobs report that prompted worries that interest rates would be raised sooner rather than later.