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Singapore shares stop slide on Friday but end down 1.1% on the week

WHILE the local market reversed mid-session losses to close out Friday higher, investors continue to tread choppy waters with caution, as sentiment remains weighed down by the US-China trade spat and dipping global growth.

"The local benchmark was shrouded in the state of pressure from the US-China trade conflict into Friday morning, before finding some buying interest ahead of the 3,150 support," IG market strategist Pan Jingyi observed.

Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) closed at 3,169.89, up 9.17 points or 0.3 per cent.

On the week, the benchmark index dropped 35.57 points or 1.1 per cent from last Friday's close of 3,205.46.

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Trading clocked in at 1.34 billion securities or 6 per cent over the daily average in the first four months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$977.2 million, 95 per cent of the January-to-April daily average.

Across the market, advancers beat decliners 214 to 145. Meanwhile, the benchmark index had 8 of the STI's 30 components trading in the red. 

Among them, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the benchmark index's most traded stock, with 26.9 million shares changing hands. The shipbuilder dipped one Singapore cent or 0.7 per cent to close at S$1.37.

The local banking trio were in the black. DBS Group Holdings closed one tick up at S$25.20, OCBC Bank edged up one Singapore cent or 0.1 per cent up to S$11.01 and United Overseas Bank built on Thursday's gains to end at S$24.64, up six Singapore cents or 0.2 per cent.

Cyclical tech stocks, which have flip-flopped with market sentiment surrounding US-China trade relations, saw some reprieve on Friday. AEM Holdings shares advanced three Singapore cents or 3.5 per cent up at S$0.90, Venture Corp shares gained S$0.12 or 0.8 per cent to S$15.09 and UMS Holdings finished one Singapore cent or 1.7 per cent higher at 59.5 Singapore cents.

Investors in the local market pivoted to shoring up more defensive and high dividend yield plays on Friday. This saw most real estate investment trusts (Reits) trade higher. Ascendas Reit was up two Singapore cents or 0.68 per cent to S$2.95.

Supermarket operator Sheng Siong, which conducts its business locally, added one Singapore cent or 0.9 per cent to end at S$1.08.

National carrier Singapore Airlines, bounced off a 10-year low to close S$9.17, adding four Singapore cents or 0.4 per cent.

Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) debuted on the Singapore Exchange on Friday, with trading in the stapled group commencing at 2 pm at the initial public offering (IPO) price of 78 US cents but closed at 73 US cents, down five US cents or 6.4 per cent, on 23.1 million units traded.

EHT's IPO saw less than half of its stapled securities subscribed under the public offer and as a result, the joint bookrunners and underwriters have taken up the bulk of the allotment of unsubscribed stapled securities. A portion of the unsubscribed stapled securities were also re-allocated to the international placement.