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Singapore shares decline at Monday's open; STI down 0.19%

SINGAPORE shares inched lower at the start of the week, with the Straits Times Index losing 0.19 per cent, or 6.08 points to 3,232.78 as at 9.01am. 

This comes as the Republic's non-oil domestic exports fell for an eighth straight month in October, posting a 12.3 per cent year-on-year drop, according to figures released by Enterprise Singapore.

On the Singapore bourse, gainers outnumbered losers 85 to 41, after about 49.1 million shares worth S$50.4 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding gained 6 per cent, or six Singapore cents to S$1.06, with 10.7 million shares traded, while Genting Singapore was flat at 94.5 cents, with 1.7 million shares traded. 

Banking stocks also faltered in the early morning trade. DBS slipped 1 per cent, or 26 cents to S$26.36 on an ex-dividend basis, United Overseas Bank shed 0.04 per cent, or one cent to S$26.73, and OCBC Bank dropped 0.5 per cent, or five cents to S$11.10.

Other active index stocks included Jardine Matheson Holdings which lost 1.1 per cent, or 65 US cents to US$56.27, while Wilmar International gained 0.5 per cent, or two cents to S$4.10. 

Also on Monday, Water treatment firm SIIC Environment gained 1.9 per cent, or 0.5 cent to 27.5 cents, after its subsidiaries signed three upgrading supplementary agreements for wastewater treatment plant projects in China.

Raffles Education jumped 2.4 per cent, or 0.2 cent to 8.6 cents. This comes as the mainboard-listed company on Sunday said it has appointed a new director, and that shareholders have approved a property sale including a commercial building in New South Wales, Australia. 

Elsewhere, Asian equities got the week off to a muted start ahead of Fed and the European Central Bank (ECB) events.

This week, investors are awaiting fresh developments on the US-China trade front, and the first major speech by ECB president Christine Lagarde, which is due on Friday.

Japan's Topix was flat, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.5 per cent.

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