Singapore shares fall as European markets open weaker

SINGAPORE - The local bourse closed lower on Tuesday with the Straits Times Index (STI) losing 7.75 points or 0.24 per cent to 3,194.40.

Some 1.22 billion shares worth a total value of $890.4 million exchanged hands.

There were 259 losers to 147 gainers, while 378 stocks were unchanged.

Bargain hunting initially lent support to the market, helping it to climb to an intraday high of 3,211.66.

But a poor opening in Europe where shares fell early on led to the STI losing ground.

Investors are still hesitant about wading into the market after another downbeat session on Wall Street overnight, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.35 per cent.

Concerns over global growth and the spread of Ebola after a second American was diagnosed led to the drop.

Life sciences firm OLS Enterprise was the top volume counter, with 63.2 million shares swopping hands. Its shares closed 0.1 cent higher at 1.1 cent.

Most Asian bourses also closed lower.

Tokyo returned from a public holiday on Monday to tumble 2.4 per cent as a strong yen cast a pall on the earnings of exporters.

Hong Kong lost 0.4 per cent, Shanghai dropped 0.3 per cent, but Seoul added 0.1 per cent and Sydney gained 1 per cent.