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Singapore shares decline at Friday's open; STI down 0.55% to 3,052.84

SINGAPORE stocks opened weaker on Friday, with the Straits Times Index declining 0.55 per cent or 16.83 points to 3,052.84 as at 9.03am after overnight declines in US markets.

Losers outnumbered gainers 93 to 26, or about seven securities down for every two up, after 44.1 million securities worth S$73.6 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings retreated 2.2 per cent or S$0.03 to S$1.34 with 4.3 million shares traded. Thomson Medical Group advanced 1.2 per cent or S$0.001 to S$0.083 with 4.1 million shares traded.

Active index stocks included United Overseas Bank, down 1.3 per cent or S$0.32 to S$25.16; and DBS Group Holdings, down 0.5 per cent or S$0.12 to S$24.23.

US markets closed lower on Thursday amid worries about strained US-Saudi relations over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pulling out of an investor conference in Saudi Arabia.

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"As soon as the news came out it increased the selling," Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York, told Reuters. "Anything that has a semblance of the possibility of trouble, people in this environment see it as a much larger problem than it may really be."

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