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Singapore shares close weaker as early window-dressing momentum fades

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MONDAY'S column raised the strong likelihood that blue chips would enjoy a month-ending window-dressing push on May 31.

As it turned out, this was initially the case when the Straits Times Index (STI) on Tuesday first jumped 38 points to an intraday high of 2,834, before plunging to a net loss of 5.69 points at 2,791.06 in the final two hours of trading.

Turnover was a heavy 1.4 billion units worth almost S$2 billion, possibly the highest single-day volume this year. The afternoon selling was in tandem with a dip in the Dow futures and a weak opening for Europe.

Banks were at the forefront of the STI's spectacular surge and plunge, though brokers were not surprised.

"Anything to make things look better than they really are," remarked one dealer. "Too bad it didn't hold."

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DBS stood out by first shooting up to S$15.80 before closing a net S$0.05 lower for the day at S$15.50.

Noble Group was among the top actives, rebounding S$0.015 to S$0.295 on volume of 98.6 million.

The commodities firm on Monday announced the resignation of its chief executive officer, the appointment of two co-chief executives and the sale of a US unit to raise cash to strengthen its balance sheet.

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