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Singapore stocks close in mixed finish after quiet session


A NEW day, another nondescript session. The Straits Times Index (STI) on Thursday displayed all the verve of a patient on life support, finishing a coma-inducing session a nett 3.3 points weaker at 3,327.84.

Turnover amounted to a weak 907 million units worth S$912.4 million; and excluding warrants, the advance-decline score of 208-221 which left about 400 stocks either not traded or unchanged suggested that many investors and traders spent their time indulging in other more exciting pursuits, among them watching grass grow.

For want of better reasons, most brokers pointed to Greece and China as the main reasons for the weak state of trading, though many privately admitted that trading has been dead for many months now.

Still, with China's stock market gyrating as much as 10 per cent per day and with Greece still tottering on the brink of financial ruin, it stands to reason that sentiment here must have been affected.

The day's top story revolved around the Singapore Exchange (SGX), whose shares on Wednesday jumped almost 6 per cent, thus drawing a query from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The exchange on Wednesday had replied that it did not know of reasons for the rise, and this led to the MAS issuing a "trade with caution" on SGX's shares on Thursday. The stock ended S$0.10 down at S$8.08 on volume of 1.9 million.