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Singapore shares decline at Friday's open tracking Wall St retreat; STI down 1%

SINGAPORE shares pulled back at Friday's open as worries over renewed Sino-US trade tensions weighed on sentiment. 

The benchmark Straits Times Index slipped 1 per cent or 25.19 points to 2,530.15 as at 9.01am. 

Decliners outnumbered advancers 65 to 34, after about 48.6 million securities worth S$61.3 million changed hands. 

Among the index stocks, the most heavily traded by volume was Singtel which fell S$0.02 or 0.8 per cent to S$2.66, with 1.5 million shares traded, while Genting Singapore retreated S$0.01 or 1.3 per cent to S$0.76, with 1.2 million shares changing hands. 

The trio of banking stocks was down in the early session of trading. UOB lost S$0.09 or 0.5 per cent to S$19.59, DBS slipped S$0.24 or 1.2 per cent to S$19.21, while OCBC shed S$0.35 or 3.9 per cent to S$8.54. 

The Business Times understands that the Singapore banks will retain the funding offered under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), intended to provide firms with wage support amid the Covid-19 pandemic. DBS will use the funding to create more jobs, OCBC said the JSS will support its training programmes, while UOB declined to comment. 

Meanwhile, other active securities included Hongkong Land which fell US$0.09 or 2.4 per cent to US$3.69, while CapitaLand slipped S$0.04 or 1.4 per cent to S$2.87. 

Property group CapitaLand on Friday said it will be launching an e-commerce platform eCapitaMall, as well as an online food ordering platform Capita3Eats to complement the sales of its shopping malls in Singapore. 

Over in the US, Wall Street stocks ended lower overnight paring gains from earlier in the week. This comes as escalating tensions between US and China compounded investors' worries about the pace of economic recovery from the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 per cent to end at 24,474.12 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.8 per cent to 2,948.51 and the Nasdaq Composite sank 1 per cent to 9,284.88.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, stocks saw a muted opening on Friday. Japan's Topix opened flat, South Korea’s Kospi was little changed and Australia stocks slipped less than 0.1 per cent.

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