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Singapore shares end flat on Wednesday

THE local market, for the most part, traded higher on Wednesday before closing flat, hampered by news that Washington is considering Huawei-like sanctions on Hikvision, sending already fragile investor confidence due to the US-China trade spat further south.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI), which dipped into negative territory in late session, closed at 3,183.14, down 0.12 point on Wednesday.

Trading volume clocked in at 939.17 million securities or 74 per cent of the daily average in the first four months of 2019. Meanwhile, total turnover came to S$931.2 million, 90 per cent of the January-to-April daily average.

Across the market, decliners outpaced advancers 182 to 177. The benchmark index had 15 of the STI's 30 components trading in the red.

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Among them, Genting Singapore was the benchmark index's most traded stock, with 44.5 million shares changing hands, closing 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.6 per cent lower at 87.5 cents. Since posting first-quarter results on May 9, the casino operator's shares have fallen 7.9 per cent.

"Genting Singapore's fundamentals are still good but investors are anticipating an outflow of cash for expansion plans and other cost increases," a dealer said.

The local banks were in the red. DBS Group Holdings dropped S$0.31 or 1.2 per cent to close at S$25.43, OCBC Bank dipped seven cents or 0.6 per cent down at S$11.02 while United Overseas Bank fell S$0.30 or 1.2 per cent to settle at S$24.53.

Tech counters, which were sold off on Tuesday on worries of the disruptive impact Huawei's US ban would have on global technology supply chains, traded mixed. AEM Holdings closed unchanged at S$0.93. Hi-P International finished two Singapore cents or 1.6 per cent lower at S$1.22 while Venture Corp gained six Singapore cents or 0.4 per cent to end at S$15.43.