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STI loses steam, snaps six-session winning streak

THE Straits Times Index (STI) ran out of steam in mid-afternoon on Tuesday, and closed 0.1 per cent or 2.8 points down at 2,794.17, snapping a six-session winning streak.

The benchmark had opened higher in the morning but went downhill from mid-afternoon, even as it recovered some losses towards the end of the trading session.

One counter's gain is another's loss. Conglomerate Sembcorp Industries' proposal to hive off its loss-making marine arm Sembcorp Marine  helped add S$0.56 or 36.6 per cent to the parent company's share price, which closed at S$2.09. In contrast, the offshore and marine player's share price dropped S$0.23 or 27.1 per cent to S$0.62, after it made known the intention to add up to 10.5 billion new shares through a rights issue to raise S$2.1 billion. 

Consequently, Sembcorp Industries topped the performance table of the index members, while SembMarine emerged as the most heavily traded stock with nearly 135.4 million shares having changed hands. Its parent company trailed, with about 90 million shares traded.

Jardine C&C, which went ex-dividend on Monday, lost 3.3 per cent or S$0.78 to end at S$22.87 and at the bottom among the STI's worst performers.  

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Losers outnumbered gainers 305 to 225.

In total, 2.33 billion shares worth S$2.51 billion were traded on Tuesday.

Regional markets were a mixed bag. Japan's Nikkei 225 and Jakarta Composite Index were down 0.38 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index was up 2.44 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed 1.13 per cent higher. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index gained 1.21 per cent. 

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