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Singapore shares decline at Thursday's open; STI down 0.11% to 3,204.08

SINGAPORE stocks opened lower on Thursday, tracking lower performance from Wall Street and Europe stocks from weakness of oil prices and banks.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index moved down 0.11 per cent or 3.66 points to 3,204.08 as at 9.01am. 

Gainers and losers were evenly matched, with 41 securities up to 44 down after 13.6 million securities worth S$25.5 million changed hands.

Banking stocks also opened lower, with DBS Group Holdings down 0.3 per cent or S$0.07 to S$24.63; United Overseas Bank down 0.3 per cent or S$0.08 to S$24.53; and OCBC Bank down 0.2 per cent or S$0.02 to S$10.78.

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Among the most heavily traded by volume, Singtel held firm to S$3.32 with 1.5 million shares traded. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings moved up 0.7 per cent or S$0.01 to S$1.46 with 1.4 million shares traded. Rex International Holding slipped 1.4 per cent or S$0.001 to S$0.069 with 1.1 million shares traded.

Active index stocks included CapitaLand Mall Trust, up 0.4 per cent or S$0.01 to S$2.59; and City Developments, up 0.7 per cent or S$0.06 to S$9.25. 

Wall Street stocks had dipped for a second straight session on Wednesday, with petroleum-linked shares falling with oil prices and banks dropping on worries over economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.2 per cent to close at 26,006.83, while S&P 500 also lost 0.2 per cent to close at 2,879.84. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.4 per cent to 7,792.72.

Similarly, weakness in banks and oil companies stopped Europe's week-long rally on its shares on Wednesday. Europe's pan-regional Stoxx 600 index closed down 0.3 per cent before falling as much as 0.67 per cent. Italy's FTSE MIB fell 0.7 per cent and its banking index dropped 1.5 per cent. 

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday amid remaining worries on the US-China trade war. The Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.27 per cent or 56.71 points to 21,073.01 in early trade, and Topix index was down 0.40 per cent or 6.23 points at 1,547.99.

IG market strategist Pan Jingyi said Asia markets had seen a soft open thus far, with trade tensions strong in the backdrop. The attention on Thursday may be largely on political developments in Hong Kong, one of Asia's key markets. A steeper than average drop was seen for the Hang Seng Index on Wednesday, as it again gave up its 200-day moving average.