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Singapore shares drop 0.4%, weighed by global growth concerns

THE Singapore market returned to cautious trading on Thursday, a day after tracking the US markets' brief rally to all-time highs on strong earnings.

The Straits Times Index (STI) closed down 0.36 per cent or 12.15 points to 3,350.28.

This came after key indices in the US struggled to sustain their rally and closed lower overnight, while a decline in business sentiment in Germany and weak growth data from South Korea reignited worries about global growth.

About 921.01 million securities worth S$1.01 billion changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of S$1.10. Losers outnumbered gainers 212 to 171, or about five securities down for every four up.

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AEM Holdings surged 10.48 per cent and topped active counters with 35.04 million shares traded, after the test-handling machine supplier announced on Thursday morning that its sales orders received to date have surpassed the amounts announced in previous months. It has received S$209 million worth of sales orders as at Apr 25 for delivery in fiscal 2019. This is up from S$174 million announced in March and S$140 million announced in February.

The counter climbed 11 Singapore cents to close at S$1.16.

Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) was also heavily traded, with 27.28 million shares changing hands before it closed at S$1.84, down 2.65 per cent or five Singapore cents. The Reit said on Thursday morning that it had placed out 111.11 million new units to raise gross proceeds of about S$200 million. The bulk of the proceeds will go towards financing potential acquisitions of properties in Australia, ARA Trust Management (Suntec) Limited said.

Among index counters, ThaiBev retreated 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.6 per cent to S$0.835, while Genting Singapore closed up one Singapore cent or 1.05 per cent to end at S$0.965.