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Singapore shares close mixed with penny stocks in play


Penny stocks dominated a broadly mixed session on Tuesday which ended with the Straits Times Index down 5.47 point at 3,019.03, an advance-decline score of 217-211 excluding warrants and with turnover amounting to a weak 2.5 billion units worth S$935 million.

Weakness in Hong Kong and the Dow futures provided the main backdrop and, with the next US Federal Open Markets Committee meeting coming up next week, traders were said to be reluctant to undertake large commitments.

"I didn't realise the market's opening hours were 9-10am," remarked a dealer, trying to make light of one of the quietest sessions in recent months. During the rebound of the past 3 weeks, daily volume averaged S$1.2-1.4 billion.

The 30 STI components accounted for S$590 million or 63 per cent of dollar turnover. The average value per unit traded was S$0.37, pointing to heightened activity in penny stocks.

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Offshore oil and gas firm Loyz Energy topped the actives list with a S$0.016 or 21 per cent rise to S$0.091 on volume of 188 million. On Monday it was queried by the Singapore Exchange for reasons behind the jump in its shares that day and replied on Tuesday that it "reviews strategic options to enhance shareholders' value on an ongoing basis and, in connection with this, holds discussions with a range of parties regarding possible transactions, including mergers and acquisitions".

However, Loyz added that there is no certainty that anything will come of these discussions and that the market should be careful when dealing in its shares. 

The original article said that SGX responded by issuing a "Trade with Caution" notice for trading in Loyz Energy's shares. We have removed this as SGX did not issue this notice. We are sorry for the error.