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Singapore shares decline at Monday's open; STI down 0.03% to 3,169.02

SINGAPORE stocks started the week on lower ground, with the Straits Times Index down 0.87 point or 0.03 per cent to 3169.02 as at 9.02am on Monday.

About 29.6 million securities worth S$34.8 million changed hands.

Gainers outnumbers losers 57 to 50.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Nico Steel was flat at 0.4 Singapore cent with 10.2 million shares traded. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding rose 0.73 per cent or one cent to S$1.38 with 1.5 million shares traded. Sembcorp Marine fell 0.68 per cent or one cent to S$1.46 with 1.2 million shares traded.

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Active index stocks included CapitaLand, up 0.61 per cent or two cents to S$3.30; and CapitaMall Trust, down 0.82 per cent or two cents to S$2.42.

CapitaLand said on Monday morning before the market opened that it made several appointments which integrate several C-suite executives from Ascendas-Singbridge into its executive committee, in light of its acquisition of the latter.

Eagle Hospitality Trust, which debuted on the Singapore bourse on Friday, continued to slump from its initial public offering (IPO) price of US$0.78. Its stapled securities were trading at US$0.725 at Monday’s open, down 0.69 per cent or 0.5 US cent from Friday’s close.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index edged up at the open on Monday as investors awaited US-Japan summit talks later on the day. The Nikkei 225 index was up 0.03 per cent, or 5.97 points, at 21,123.19 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.04 per cent, or 0.66 point, at 1,540.55.

This week, all eyes will be on data releases in Asia for clues on growth prospects ahead.

China will release industrial profits for April on Monday. Regional investors will also be looking to May’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) surveys.

Singapore will see a relatively quiet data week, with its April bank lending and money supply data out on Friday.

In Japan, the end of the month also brings the usual deluge of economic data releases, including April’s unemployment rate, and May data releases on inflation rate, retail sales and industrial production.

Other key Asian data that will be out include Q1 gross domestic product in India and Thailand’s April trade figures.

The Bank of Korea also has a monetary policy decision this Friday.

US markets will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.