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Singapore shares dip at Thursday's open; STI down 0.01%

SINGAPORE shares struggled to find direction at Thursday's open, ahead of a slew of Chinese economic data, and after a lacklustre session from Wall Street overnight. 

The benchmark Straits Times Index dipped 0.01 per cent, or 0.23 point to 3,238.99 as at 9.02am. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 71 to 50, after about 67.3 million shares worth S$54.3 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Rex International gained 3.1 per cent, or 0.6 cent to 19.9 Singapore cents, with 16.7 million shares traded, while Yoma Strategic Holdings jumped 20 per cent, or 6.5 cents to 39 cents, with 9.8 million shares traded. 

Rex on Thursday posted a third-quarter profit of US$582,000, reversing from a loss of US$1.6 million a year ago, as the group completed a US$2 million sale in licences to a third party.

Meanwhile, Myanmar-focused Yoma announced before market open that Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation has invested US$155 million for a maximum 20 per cent stake in the company, making it the second-largest shareholder. Yoma also posted a net loss of US$44.2 million for its second quarter from a net profit of US$18.8 million a year ago.

Banking stocks were down in the early morning trade with DBS losing 0.1 per cent, or three cents to S$26.60 on a cum-dividend basis, United Overseas Bank shedding 0.3 per cent, or nine cents to S$26.64, and OCBC Bank edging down 0.09 per cent, or one cent to S$11.09. 

Other active stocks included Valuetronics, which was up 2.8 per cent, or two cents to 74.5 cents on a cum-dividend basis, and ComfortDelGro which fell 2.1 per cent, or five cents to S$2.33. 

This comes after the transport behemoth on Wednesday posted a 10.8 per cent drop in its third-quarter net profit to S$70 million for the three months ended Sept 30. 

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent overnight, lifted by soaring Disney shares. The S&P 500 scraped by with a positive close to finish essentially flat, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dipped less than 0.1 per cent by the closing bell. 

Elsewhere in Asia, equities were range-bound as investors awaited key Chinese data. Japan's Topix dropped 0.2 per cent, while Australian stocks were flat. 


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