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Singapore shares close marginally weaker

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THE Straits Times Index drifted to a 2.39-point loss at 2,813.87 on Monday, the last day of October. Possibly thanks to month-ending "portfolio rebalancing'', turnover amounted to 1.2 billion units worth S$978 million - still below the ballpark S$1 billion industry breakeven point but nonetheless an improvement over last week's S$770 million average. Excluding warrants there were 179 rises versus 189 falls, indicating a mixed session.

Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index ended slightly weaker whilst the Dow futures rose about 40 points in Asian trading but lost about half of this by 5pm.

Among local blue chips, DBS reported Q3 net profit of S$1.07 billion, unchanged from a year earlier and marginally better than the S$1.04 billion that analysts had expected. Its shares ended S$0.10 higher at S$15 on volume of 5.1 million.

Elsewhere in the sector, shares of UOB ended S$0.15 higher at S$18.78 with 3.5 million traded. In reviewing the bank's latest results, RB said it remains "neutral'' on the stock as it forecasts a rise in non-performing loans. It set a target price of S$18.90 for UOB.