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Singapore shares weaken ahead of US election

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IT would be all too easy to focus on the fact that if Donald Trump wins the US presidency markets could be thrown into turmoil, and that this worry was the predominant feature of the past week.

Granted. It probably makes sense to take appropriate protective steps, such as going short on the US dollar or buying puts on the major indices. But this week was not all about the Trump menace.

There were tradeable opportunities involving second and third-liners which presented themselves, and that injected some excitement into the boredom of daily trading, even if such instances were few and far between.

Moreover, the Straits Times Index did exhibit reasonable resilience in the face of US election uncertainty, falling each day in response to weakness on Wall Street but managing to recoup most of these losses by the end of trading.

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On Friday though, it ended 13.28 points weaker at 2,788.80, which brought its loss for the week to 28 points or one per cent. Turnover has been a problem, regularly falling below the S$1 billion mark that the broking industry needs to break even.

Thursday's listing of HC Surgical, privatisation offer for Super Group and takeover speculation surrounding Global Logistic Properties helped lift volume above that level for the first time in two weeks and, on Friday, Genting Singapore's better-than-expected results helped boost trading in the stock and, with it, total volume to 1.5 billion units worth S$1.1 billion.

Genting closed with a S$0.09 jump at S$0.85 with 129 million shares traded.