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Singapore share index tumbles 1.44% to 3,065.71 at Monday's open on trade fears

SINGAPORE stocks opened in a sea of red on Monday, with the Straits Times Index sinking 1.44 per cent or 44.64 points to 3,065.71 as at 9.16am on mounting trade fears with investors turning to safe haven sovereign bonds, gold and the Japanese yen. 

The yen surged against the US dollar, with Tokyo's key Nikkei index plunging as much as 2.6 per cent when the market opened on Monday.

On the Singapore bourse, losers outnumbered gainers 195 to 42, or about 14 securities down for every three up, after 186.5 million securities worth S$175.7 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Nico Steel Holdings stayed unchanged at S$0.004 with 56.3 million shares traded. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings held firm to S$0.915 with 9.8 million shares traded. Rex International Holding declined 2.4 per cent or S$0.002 to S$0.081 with 8.6 million shares traded.

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Active index stocks included Singtel, down 1.9 per cent or S$0.06 to S$3.19; Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust, down 3.1 per cent or S$0.04 to S$1.27. 

Financials were also trading lower on Monday morning, with DBS Group Holdings down 1.4 per cent or S$0.35 to S$24.04; OCBC Bank down 1.0 per cent or S$0.11 to S$10.52; and United Overseas Bank down 1.5 per cent or S$0.36 to S$24.29.

Elsewhere in Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 2.6 per cent or 529.86 points, to 20,181.05 in early trade, while the broader Topix index dropped 2.5 per cent or 36.78 points, to 1,465.47.

US shares took a dive on Friday after President Donald Trump announced a 5 per cent additional duty on US$550 billion in targeted Chinese goods. This came hours after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs on US$75 billion worth of US products. Mr Trump later caused some confusion at the G7 meeting in France over the weekend by indicating he may have had second thoughts on the tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday plummeted more than 600 points, or 2.4 per cent, to 25,628.90, registering its fourth straight weekly loss. The broad-based S&P 500 sank 2.6 per cent to 2,847.11, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 3 per cent to 7,751.77.

Europe shares were also stumbled on Friday on US-China trade tensions, with the pan-European STOXX 600 ending 0.7 per cent lower after a volatile session. Germany's trade-sensitive DAX fell 1.2 per cent.