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Singapore shares edge down at Monday's open; STI down 0.1%

SINGAPORE stocks opened marginally lower on Monday as the three local banks started the day weaker.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) headed down 0.1 per cent or 1.19 points to 2,471.09 as at 9.03am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 72 to 48, after 67.7 million securities worth S$37.8 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Jiutian Chemical, which rose 2 per cent or 0.1 Singapore cent to 5.2 cents with 13.7 million shares changing hands.

Next was Vicplas International, which dived 22.2 per cent or S$0.10 to S$0.35, with 10.1 million shares traded. The company, which makes medical devices and pipes, posted a 17.7 per cent rise in net profit to nearly S$5 million for its fiscal year ended July 31, but cut its proposed final dividend.

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Another heavily traded security was Sembcorp Marine, which advanced 0.7 per cent or 0.1 Singapore cent to 14.3 cents, with 2.1 million shares traded.

Banking stocks were in the red during early morning trade. DBS was down 0.5 per cent or S$0.10 to S$19.91, UOB dropped 0.5 per cent or S$0.09 to S$19.01, while OCBC declined 0.4 per cent or S$0.03 to S$8.43.

Other active index counters included Singtel, which held steady at S$2.14 and Wilmar International, which was up 0.5 per cent or S$0.02 to S$4.42.

In the US, stocks posted their best session of the week on Friday, with tech shares leading the market higher. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.3 per cent to 10,913.56, as indices shook off early weakness.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.3 per cent at 27,173.96, while the broad-based S&P 500 advanced 1.6 per cent to 3,298.46.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.8 per cent to 23,380.66 in early trade, while the broader Topix index gained 0.8 per cent to 1,646.72.

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