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Singapore shares drop 0.5% on Wednesday as Brexit issues and trade deal caution weighs

INVESTORS in Asia broadly exercised caution on Wednesday as they looked to the result of another parliamentary vote on Brexit while attentively waiting for more news on the progress of US-China trade negotiations to surface.

These factors saw Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) retreat 16.66 points or 0.52 per cent to close at 3,195.59.

Trading on the Singapore bourse clocked in at 817.48 million securities worth S$1.05 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 221 to 176.

Thomson Medical Group was the bourse's most active counter with 40.6 million shares traded. Shares in the medical group finished flat at 7.8 Singapore cents.

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Nineteen of the STI's 30 constituents ended the day in the red. Among them, Genting Singapore was the blue-chip index's most traded. The casino operator ended the session down one Singapore cent or one per cent to S$1.01 with 26.3 million shares changing hands.

Going by value of trades done, the DBS Group Holdings' counter saw S$113.25 million traded - 10.8 per cent of the bourse's value of securities traded - across 4.53 million shares. The banking stalwart's shares dipped S$0.33 or 1.3 per cent to S$24.97.

OCBC Bank dropped one Singapore cent or 0.1 per cent to S$11.03, and United Overseas Bank ended S$0.14 or 0.6 per cent down to close at S$24.90.   

Wall Street's tech-led rally on Monday saw a number of technology hardware and equipment, and semiconductor counters outperform the benchmark index. But on Wednesday, they pared gains made on Tuesday with AEM Holdings ending two Singapore cents or 1.6 per cent down at S$1.25 while Hi-P International dropped seven Singapore cents  or 4 per cent to close at S$1.68.