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Singapore: A quiet but slightly firm session ahead of expected US rebound

The director activity was low last week with only eight companies recording 20 purchases worth S$4.6 million and no sales, based on filings on the Singapore Exchange from Feb 23 to 27.

An agonisingly boring session on Tuesday finished with the Straits Times Index just about managing to stay in the black - up 3.13 points at 3,413.26 with tepid volume of 1 billion units worth S$1 billion and with the entire market recording 239 rises versus 173 falls.

Brokers said an uncertain Wall Street probably contributed to the ho-hum session, as did an indifferent Hong Kong. In Monday's session in the US, major indices traded higher throughout the session but ended weaker on the day - exactly the same pattern exhibited in Hong Kong on Tuesday. The STI's positive closing however, suggested the US market would probably close higher on Tuesday.

"Tradeable newsflows have been thin," remarked a dealer. "For now, nothing much is happening to get people excited or even scared."

Straits Times Index stocks which featured in the top 20 actives list included Noble Group, Genting Singapore and Singtel, whilst the largest drag on the index came from a S$0.21 drop in UOB to S$22.79 on volume of 3 million shares traded. Penny stocks which enjoyed some play included IHC, SIIC Environment and Pacific Andes.

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