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Singapore shares drop 0.2% on weak China data, oil supply worries

THE local equities market closed lower on Monday as sentiment fell after weak industrial and retail data from China as well as crude supply worries following drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) dropped 0.3 per cent at open, hovering in that region for most of the session before closing 7.56 points or 0.2 per cent lower at 3,203.93 on Monday.

It was mixed elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific as Australia and South Korea locked in gains. But China and Hong Kong posted losses. Markets in Malaysia and Japan were closed but will resume trading on Tuesday.

In Singapore, trading volume clocked in at 989.26 million securities, 83 per cent of the daily average in the first eight months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$752.49 million, 70 per cent of the January-to-August daily average.

Across the market, decliners beat advancers 227 to 169. The blue-chip index had 13 of its 30 counters in the red.

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As a result of the jump in oil prices, upstream oil and gas firms saw heavy trading. Rex International, which conducts oil exploration in markets like Oman and the United Arab Emirates among others, jumped 0.6 Singapore cent or 7.4 per cent to 8.7 cents with 114.8 million shares traded, the most in the Singapore market. Meanwhile, GSS Energy, which has oil exploration operations in Indonesia, advanced 0.5 Singapore cent or 7.5 per cent to close at 7.2 cents.

Rigmaker Sembcorp Marine added three Singapore cents or 2.4 per cent to S$1.30. Meanwhile, its parent Sembcorp Industries dropped two Singapore cents or 0.9 per cent to S$2.21 and Keppel Corp rose three Singapore cents or 0.5 per cent to S$6.25.

With 42.2 million shares changing hands, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding maintained its place as the STI's most active counter but on Monday, the counter was in the red, falling four Singapore cents or 3.6 per cent to S$1.08.

The local banks were lower. DBS Group Holdings eased nine Singapore cents or 0.3 per cent to S$25.47, OCBC Bank dipped two Singapore cents or 0.2 per cent to S$11.08 while United Overseas Bank finished at S$26.34, down seven Singapore cents or 0.2 per cent.

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