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Singapore shares add 0.4% in a ho-hum Tuesday session

LACKING fresh catalysts, there was little impetus in the local stock market for a session with vibrant or at best, average turnovers but that said, shares in Singapore closed higher on Tuesday.

The Straits Times Index (STI) managed to add 12.08 points or 0.4 per cent to close at 3,360.03.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, markets in Australia, China and Malaysia were lower while Hong Kong and South Korea posted gains.

Vanguard Markets managing partner Stephen Innes described Tuesday's session in the region as "cautious and directionless". He added that traders were "positioning gingerly knowing that the rest of the week is potholed by Fed speakers and critical US data releases, all of which have predictably left Asia equity markets struggling for direction".

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In Singapore, trading volume clocked in at 1.17 billion securities, just under the daily average in the first six months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$854.44 million, 80 per cent of the January-to-June daily average.

Across the broader market, advancers beat decliners 208 to 182. The benchmark index had eight of the STI's 30 components closing in the red. 

Genting Singapore, which edged up 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.5 per cent to 92.5 cents, was the benchmark index's most traded stock with 19.3 million shares changing hands.

The local banks were mixed but share price changes were modest. DBS Group Holdings ended S$0.09 or 0.3 per cent higher at S$25.99 and United Overseas Bank edged up S$0.04 or 0.1 per cent to S$26.60. OCBC Bank finished at S$11.50, down S$0.02 or 0.2 per cent.

With the lack of new developments, interest in real estate investment trusts (Reits), it seems, was back, with the FTSE Straits Times Reit index rebounding after six consecutive days of decline. 

Of the Singapore-listed Reits, CapitaLand Commercial Trust (closed S$0.03 or 1.4 per cent higher at S$2.18), Mapletree Logistics Trust (finished S$0.02 or 1.3 per cent higher at S$1.62) and Keppel DC Reit (added S$0.03 or 1.8 per cent to close at S$1.71) were among the best performers.

Among pennies, Koh Brothers Eco Engineering also made an appearance on the most traded list, gaining 0.3 Singapore cent or 6.4 per cent to five cents on 21 million shares traded. A Koh Brothers Eco joint venture on Monday snagged a S$668.2 million contract with national water agency PUB.