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Singapore shares finish higher but in poor, holiday-affected volume


IF year-ending window-dressing of the Straits Times Index is to feature in 2015, then it makes sense to position oneself appropriately just before the year ends. This sort of positional, advance buying might have played a part in the index's 12.9 points rise to 2,888.22 on Tuesday that came with poor volume of 724 million units worth S$481.5 million done.

Alternatively, the slight push could have been in anticipation of a Monday rebound on Wall Street when the US resumes trading after closure for the weekend.

Whatever the case, index stocks contributed S$288.4 million, down sharply from the more usual average of about S$700 million over the past three months, a sure sign that many big players have closed their books and gone on holiday.

Overall, dealers said that activity was within expectations given the holiday season and uncertain 2016 outlook.

The average value per unit traded was well into penny territory at S$0.66, and of the top 20 most actively traded stocks, 18 were priced below S$0.50. The two exceptions were Singtel and Global Logistic Properties.

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The day's most active counter was Terratech Group, which fell S$0.006 to S$0.055 on volume of 63.6 million. The company has been queried twice this month by the Singapore Exchange (SGX), the first resulting in a "Trade with Caution" being issued on Dec 6. In response to the second query, the company on Dec 21 said that it is "constantly reviewing and exploring potential funding opportunities in tandem with its corporate growth strategy", but emphasised that discussions are in a very preliminary stage and there is no certainty that any of them will materialise.

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