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Singapore shares close 0.2% down

SHARE prices in the Singapore bourse extended its losses for the third straight day with the key Straits Times Index (STI) down 5.6 points or 0.2 per cent to finish at 3,512.14 on Friday.

The market's key barometer has spent three out of five days this week in negative territory, no thanks to soft leads from Wall Street's mixed showing and fears over trade tensions and US politics.

Yet, week-on-week, the STI has managed to keep its head above water with a gain of 27 points or 0.8 per cent.

Some 1.8 billion shares worth S$1.6 billion changed hands versus Thursday's nearly two billion shares worth S$1.3 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers with 248 counters down and 184 counters up.

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Market voices on:

"There appears to be little that interests the market of late other than trade and monetary policy drivers," said IG's market strategist Jingyi Pan.

Earlier on Friday, Singapore's February's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) disappointed, shrinking 5.9 per cent year-on-year against the market's expectation of 4.8 per cent growth.

"Weak NODX points to weak manufacturing in the current quarter (look out for industrial production data on March 26), which in turn undermines the consensus of continued acceleration in GDP growth to 3.8 per cent year-on-year from 3.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017," said ING's Asia economist Prakash Sakpal.