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Singapore shares fall 0.7% as traders ease into weekend

SINGAPORE stocks retreated on Friday after a four-day advance, falling the most among regional markets, as traders took profit ahead of the weekend and companies released weaker earnings.

The Straits Times Index went down as much as 0.90 per cent before clawing back ground to finish at 3,264.30, down 0.65 per cent or 21.42 points.

The bourse saw turnover of 1.87 billion securities, with a value of S$1.42 billion, about 45 per cent more than the daily average value for October.

Meanwhile, decliners edged out advancers 218 to 169.

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Profit-taking activities were seen in the local market, according to a few market watchers.

This was especially so for tech manufacturing plays like Hi-P International, AEM Holdings and UMS Holdings, which have seen share prices rise steadily throughout the week, said SGX market strategist Geoff Howie.

Echoing the views, KGI Research said the gains are likely attributable to institutional buying, which is supported by “improving trade war sentiment, solid Q3 2019 earning performances by major semiconductor players and general sentiment improvement of the semiconductor sector”.

Hi-P’s shares finished 1.91 per cent or S$0.03 lower at S$1.54 on Friday, as 3.4 million shares were traded. Likewise, UMS’ counter closed at S$0.84, down 2.33 per cent or S$0.02, on turnover of about four million shares.

AEM’s shares declined in the morning session but finished unchanged at S$1.81, with 8.4 million shares changing hands.

Overall, Friday’s decline cut the benchmark index’s four-day winning streak but it still finished 1.08 per cent higher than it did last week.