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Singapore: STI slumps to 5-month low below 3,300


The Straits Times Index on Tuesday traded almost entirely in the red and suffered a fourth consecutive fall when it ended 25.2 points or 0.8 per cent lower at 3,295.13. It was the lowest close since Jan 7 when the index closed at 3,298. Turnover amounted to 1.4 billion worth S$1.3 billion. Excluding warrants there were 122 rises versus 327 falls.

An overnight fall on Wall Street and regional weakness that included a 1.2 per cent fall in Hong Kong were said to be the main factors behind the weakness here. Brokers also mentioned the possibility that the local market's weighting in an MSCI index might be cut to make way for China "A" shares after MSCI said it was considering introducing "A" shares in an Emerging Markets index.

Volume done in the 30 STI components was 291 million units worth S$877 million, in dollar terms about 67 per cent of the whole day's business. The bulk of the index's loss came from weakness in Jardine stocks, most notably Jardine Matheson, Jardine Strategic and Cycle & Carriage.

Notable in the actives list was Noble Group, which has remained weak even after some of its institutional shareholders bought recently at around S$0.76 per share, purchases which helped stabilise the counter. However, this has proven temporary - Noble on Tuesday dropped S$0.045 or 6.4 per cent to S$0.66 on volume of 85.4 million.

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