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Singapore shares decline at open; STI down 0.5%

SINGAPORE stocks opened weaker on Wednesday after their worst quarter since the Global Financial Crisis.

The Straits Times Index headed down 0.5 per cent or 13.28 points to 2,467.95 as at 9.01am.

Losers outnumbered gainers 85 to 24, after 29.8 million securities worth S$62.1 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume on Wednesday morning was Genting Singapore, which was trading flat at S$0.69 with 2.5 million shares changing hands as at 9.02am.

Other heavily traded securities included ESR-Reit which fell 1.7 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to 29.5 cents with 1.4 million shares traded.

Ascendas Reit gained 1.1 per cent or S$0.03 to S$2.86 with 1.1 million shares traded. On Tuesday night, the trust's manager announced it had acquired a 25 per cent stake in business park Galaxis for S$102.9 million.

The trio of local banks showed a mixed performance in early morning trade. DBS was trading down 0.9 per cent or S$0.17 at S$18.40 as at 9.02am, OCBC was up 0.1 per cent or S$0.01 to S$8.65, while UOB rose 0.3 per cent or S$0.06 to S$19.51.

In the US, the Dow finished down more than 400 points lower on Tuesday as it suffered its worst quarterly loss since 1987 amid a broader market rout over the coronavirus outbreak.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 1.6 per cent to 2,584.59, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1 per cent to 7,700.10. Both also notched sizeable losses for the quarter.

European stock markets also clocked their worst quarter in nearly 18 years following a brutal sell-off on the heels of the coronavirus outbreak. 

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