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Singapore shares dip at Thursday’s open; STI down 0.02%

SINGAPORE stocks opened slightly weaker on Thursday despite rallies in Wall Street and the Europe stock markets. Singapore’s Straits Times Index headed down 0.02 per cent or 0.6 point to 3,214.93 as at 9.02am.

Losers outnumbered gainers 53 to 50, after 42.8 million securities worth S$46.3 million changed hands.

The most active counter was Rex International, which fell 2.1 per cent, or 0.4 Singapore cent to S$0.185 with 8.2 million shares changing hands. Other heavily traded securities included Singtel which rose 0.6 per cent or two Singapore cents to S$3.33 with 2.4 million shares traded, as well as Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust which fell 0.9 per cent or one cent to S$1.16 with 2.3 million shares traded.

SPH Reit fell 0.9 per cent or one Singapore cent to S$1.08. The Reit manager on Wednesday told unitholders at the annual general meeting that it sees future enhancement opportunities in the freehold Westfield Marion Shopping Centre in Adelaide, in response to unitholder queries on its strategy for the shopping centre.

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First Sponsor meanwhile rose six Singapore cents or 4.6 per cent to S$1.36, following news of the property developer's sale of an Amsterdam office building to an associate for 55.3 million euros. 

Banking stocks were mixed in early morning trade, with DBS down 0.1 per cent or two Singapore cents at S$25.76. UOB was up 0.1 per cent or three cents to S$26.15, while OCBC fell 0.4 per cent, or four cents to S$10.88.

Other active index counters included Ascendas Reit which fell 0.3 per cent or one Singapore cent to S$2.98, and Venture which rose 0.1 per cent or one cent to S$15.81. 

In the US, Wall Street stocks hit a new high on Wednesday following better-than-expected US economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average concluded the day at 28,164.00, up 0.2 per cent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to end at 3,153.63. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index meanwhile advanced 0.7 per cent to close at 8,705.18.

Europe stocks also rose for the fourth session on Thursday, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index finishing 0.3 per cent higher. 

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks edged up on Thursday, tracking Wall Street rallies in New York amid solid US economic data, and a cheap yen against the dollar. The Nikkei 225 index inched up 0.08 per cent, or 18.84 points, to 23,456.61 in early trade, while the broader Topix index edged up 0.03 per cent, or 0.49 points, to 1,711.47.