SINGAPORE share prices opened lower on Monday with the Straits Times Index (STI) down 0.75 points to 3,362.02 as at 9.04am, tracing losses in the US markets.
Top gainers in early trading included UOB, while top losers included its peers DBS and OCBC.
Banks have underperformed since the start of the year due to profit-taking and concerns about an economic slowdown and higher credit costs, noted a Nomura report dated March 12.
"We believe that while some of these concerns are warranted, the market has ignored the very positive impact of rising short-term interest rates. In our opinion, this is the single most important catalyst for these banks at this stage of the cycle, as it offers them significant operating leverage," the brokerage said.
Some 61.8 million shares worth S$92.6 million changed hands as at 9.04am on Monday, with losers outnumbering gainers 91 to 57.