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Singapore shares close mixed despite STI regaining 2,900 mark


WALL Street's bounce on Friday helped push the Straits Times Index up 21.87 points on Monday to 2,900.92, a rise that was led by the three banks. Turnover however, was a feeble 892.6 million units worth S$759 million and despite the strong index showing, the broad market's advance-decline score was a very mixed 200-199.

The day's most actively traded stock was telecom counter Ace Achieve Infocom, which jumped S$0.004 or 17.4 per cent to S$0.027 on volume of 45.4 million, drawing a query from the Singapore Exchange (SGX). After replying in the negative, SGX issued a "Trade with Caution".

Separately, SGX also issued a "Trade with Caution" notice on trading in shares of Terratech Group after the latter said over the weekend that it did not know of reasons why its shares rose 120 per cent on Friday. Terratech was the second most active stock on Monday, rising S$0.009 or 19 per cent to S$0.056 on volume of 41.5 million.

Among the banks, DBS rose S$0.13 to S$16.71 on volume of 2.9 million. Macquarie Warrants in its daily newsletter noted losses in DBS have weighed on the STI - its stock lost 4.9 per cent from Nov 9-Dec 7 versus 4.4 per cent for the index.

"Nonetheless, in their latest report on Singapore banks, Macquarie Equities Research (MER) reiterates DBS as their top pick in Singapore, and believes that while asset quality has started to turn, much of the uncertainties in this aspect has been priced," said MW.