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Singapore stocks close weaker on fall in Dow futures; banks hit


THE Straits Times Index on Tuesday dropped 23.18 or 0.9 per cent to 2,579.23 in tandem with a weak session for the Dow futures that indicated Wall Street might come under pressure. Turnover amounted to 669 million units worth S$993 million, down from Monday's S$1.07 billion and excluding warrants there were 167 rises versus 210 falls.

Over in North Asia, the Shanghai Composite underwent its usual volatile session when it rebounded 2.3 per cent, though in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index finished 0.8 per cent weaker.

Wall Street on Monday underwent an uncertain session as oil prices weakened, though comments from US Federal Reserve vice-chairman Stanley Fischer that the Fed has no idea what it will do at its next interest rate meeting probably also played a part.

In a speech on Monday, Mr Fischer said that "increased concern about the global outlook, particularly the ongoing structural adjustments in China and the effects of the declines in the prices of oil and other commodities on commodity exporting nations" have triggered volatility in global asset markets.

"At this point, it is difficult to judge the likely implications of this volatility. If these developments lead to a persistent tightening of financial conditions, they could signal a slowing in the global economy that could affect growth and inflation in the United States. But we have seen similar periods of volatility in recent years that have left little permanent imprint on the economy."

All three banks here finished weaker - DBS dropped S$0.27 to S$13.51, UOB S$0.38 to S$17.39 and OCBC S$0.10 to S$7.63.