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Singapore shares open lower on Friday into sub-3,000 region


SINGAPORE share prices broke through the psychological 3,000-point support level - as many had feared it will - to 2,972.05 by 9.13am on Friday.

This was a 1.25 per cent or 37.73-point drop from Thursday's close, following declines in the United States and Asia.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 hit a more than six-month low on Thursday, closing in negative territory for the year. It lost 43.88 points (2.11 per cent) to 2,035.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 358.04 points (2.06 per cent) to 16,990.69 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 141.56 points (2.82 per cent) to 4,877.49.

US crude edged higher after earlier hitting its lowest since March 2009, while Brent dropped 2.3 per cent to hit its lowest since January.

In Asia, stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index headed for its lowest since March 2014. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index slipped 1.3 per cent to 132.58 as at 9.10am in Tokyo, heading for a fifth weekly decline.

Tokyo stocks opened 0.14 per cent down. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 28.37 points to 20,194.26 at the start.

In Singapore, losses were led by the Jardine stocks and all three local banks.

At 9.09am, Jardine Cycle & Carriage was down 0.5 per cent to S$28.95, Jardine Strategic down 2.7 per cent to US$28.52, and Jardine Matheson down 1.4 per cent to US$51.10.

UOB was down 3 per cent to S$19.07, DBS was down 1.9 per cent to S$18.13 and OCBC was down 2 per cent to S$9.10.

Keppel Corp was also down 1.9 per cent to S$6.83, continuing its decline from Thursday when it had retreated 13 cents or 1.8 per cent to S$6.96 - its lowest point since 2011.

As at 9.13am, some 206.8 million shares worth S$173.4 million had changed hands, with losers outnumbering gainers an overwhelming 238 to 33.