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Singapore shares dip at Friday's open; STI down 0.1% to 3,122.90

SINGAPORE shares edged down on Friday morning following differing reactions in the US and Europe markets over a draft agreement on Brexit, with US stocks gaining ground but Europe closing slightly lower.

Amid a tentative opening on the exchange, the Straits Times Index lost 3.24 points or 0.1 per cent to 3,122.90 as at 9.04am.

About 29.5 million shares worth about S$38.3 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$1.30 per share.

Gainers outnumbered losers 52 to 46.

Rex International continued its hot streak this week, after it announced it had made an oil and gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea. Its shares were up S$0.002 or 2.3 per cent to S$0.09 after 5.9 million shares changed hands.

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Property firm Imperium Crown traded up S$0.002 or 12.5 per cent to S$0.018 with 4.1 million shares traded while Jiutian Chemical was unchanged at S$0.013 after 1.4 million shares changed hands.

SPH shares were unchanged at S$2.13. It announced on Thursday a 5 per cent cut to staff from its media group as it posted a 23.4 per cent decline in net profit to S$213 million for the full year ended Aug 31. 

Keppel Corp shares were down S$0.03 or 0.5 per cent to S$5.93 after announcing on Thursday that third-quarter net profit fell 30 per cent to S$159 million from a restated S$227 million a year ago amid the absence of divestment gains.

It was a mixed bag for local banks, with DBS down S$0.02 or 0.1 per cent to S$24.92, OCBC shares losing S$0.07 or 0.7 per cent to S$10.78, but UOB up S$0.05 or 0.2 per cent to S$26.07.

Among other index securities, CapitaLand Mall Trust traded down S$0.02 or 0.8 per cent to S$2.61 while CapitaLand Commercial Trust was unchanged at S$2.05.

Wall Street stocks rose on Thursday after Britain and the European Union (EU) announced a new Brexit deal, with additional boosts from Netflix and Morgan Stanley's solid earnings.

Analysts welcomed news that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reached a draft divorce deal with EU leaders that amends the prior agreement's provisions on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The US market shrugged off opposition to the draft deal from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which could potentially sink the agreement.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 per cent, closing at 27,025.88. The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.3 per cent to 2,997.95, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 8,156.85.

European shares edged lower as strong earnings from Sweden's Ericsson were offset by fading optimism over the Brexit deal amid investor worries about its support in the British parliament.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed down 0.1 per cent after initially gaining as much as 0.9 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo opened higher with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index up 0.45 per cent or 100.87 points at 22,552.73, while the broader Topix index was up 0.29 per cent or 4.75 points to 1,628.91.

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