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Singapore: External worries continue to weigh on STI


A SOFT session that ended with the Straits Times Index (STI) 13.34 points weaker at 3,320.33, low volume of 1.4 billion units worth S$1.01 billion, not much action in blue chips or penny stocks - some brokers rated Monday's trading in the local stock market about as exciting as watching grass grow.

Various reasons were given for the funk the local market has found itself in for many months now - Greece's never-ending debt problems, uncertainty over when the US will raise interest rates, the vast explosion of interest in China stocks despite the country's slowing economy and a withdrawal of liquidity after the US Federal Reserve ended its QE (quantitative easing) programme.

All these factors have combined to drag most regional bourses lower - with the exception of Hong Kong, which has enjoyed large volume and interest following its link to the Shanghai exchange.

On Monday, the STI traded mostly in the red, dragged lower by falls in Singtel, the Jardine stable and the banks. Turnover paled in comparison to Monday last week when volume spiked up to S$1.7 billion, possibly as fund managers sold in anticipation of Singapore having to make way for China 'A' shares in MSCI's emerging market (EM) Index.

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The unit average was S$0.72 and of the top 20 actives, 16 were priced below S$0.50. Among the names in the list was digital technology firm Silverlake Axis, which collapsed S$0.09 or 8.6 per cent per cent at S$0.955 on volume of 30.1 million.

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