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Singapore shares decline at Friday's open; STI down 0.46% to 3,215.13

SINGAPORE stocks opened lower on Friday, with the Straits Times Index declining 0.46 per cent or 14.75 points to 3,215.13 as at 9.08am, tracking weaker openings in other Asian markets amid US-China trade worries. 

On the Singapore bourse, losers outnumbered gainers 66 to 51, or about nine securities down for every seven up, after 52.0 million securities worth S$65.7 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Rex International Holding moved up 0.9 per cent or S$0.001 to S$0.108 with 7.9 million shares traded. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings gained 1.6 per cent or S$0.015 to S$0.97 with 4.4 million shares traded. P5 Capital Holdings fell 5.3 per cent or S$0.002 to S$0.036 with 4.1 million shares traded.

Active index stocks included Sembcorp Marine, up 1.5 per cent or S$0.02 to S$1.39, on news that Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters won a contract from Shell Offshore to build and integrate the topside and hull of a floating production unit in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mapletree Commercial Trust was up 0.9 per cent or S$0.02 to S$2.35; while Singtel declined 0.6 per cent or S$0.02 to S$3.28. 

Mapletree Logistics Trust stayed flat at S$1.68. About 154.6 million new units had begun trading on the Singapore bourse at 9am on Friday at an issue price of S$1.617 apiece, under the real estate investment trust’s oversubscribed private placement. 

China Sunsine Chemical shed 7.0 per cent or S$0.08 to S$1.06, following a warning that it is expecting a "material decrease" in its third-quarter net profit for the three months ended Sept 30 from a year ago, mainly due to a decrease in the average selling price of the group's product,, it announced in a regulatory filing late on Thursday night.

Financials also opened weakers, with DBS Group Holdings down 1.4 per cent or S$0.36 to S$25.64; and OCBC Bank down 0.6 per cent or S$0.06 to S$10.90. 

United Overseas Bank was down 1.0 per cent or S$0.26 to S$26.57. The bank on Friday morning posted a net profit of S$1.12 billion for the third quarter, rising 8 per cent from S$1.04 billion for the year-ago period, on the back of stronger client franchise income and trading and investment income.

Elsewhere in the region, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropping 0.84 per cent or 192.72 points to 22,734.32 in early trade. The broader Topix index meanwhile, was down 0.7 per cent or 12.38 points at 1,654.63.

Australia and New Zealand also fell in early trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3 per cent or 20.9 points to 6,642.5 by 0013 GMT, and New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index falling 0.3 per cent or 33.52 points to 10,754.84.

In the United States, Wall Street ended lower on Thursday after US-China trade war worries offset strong earnings reports from Apple and Facebook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.5 per cent to 27,046.37.

European shares also fell on Thursday, hurt by losses for miners and carmakers and US-China trade worries. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended 0.5 per cent lower. 

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