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Singapore shares edge lower on Thursday; STI slips 0.04% to 3,133.40

SINGAPORE shares opened slightly lower on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index losing 0.04 per cent, or 1.31 points to 3,133.40 as at 9.02am. 

This comes as Wall Street stocks finished mostly weaker overnight, following a disappointing US retail sales report, and amid geopolitical tension stemming from Brexit. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1 per cent, the broad-based S&P 500 declined 0.2 per cent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3 per cent.

On the Singapore bourse, advancers outnumbered decliners 50 to 33, after about 25.6 million shares worth S$49.3 million changed hands. 

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Among the most heavily traded by volume, Mapletree Commercial Trust gained 0.9 per cent, or two Singapore cents to S$2.36 on a cum-dividend, cum rights basis. Some 4.3 million shares were traded, following the lifting of its trading halt on Thursday morning. The trust has also priced its private placement at the rich end of price talk at S$2.28 per unit on strong demand

Rex International was flat at 9.1 Singapore cents, with 1.4 million shares traded. Shares of the Catalist-listed firm soared 15.2 per cent on Wednesday, on the back of discovery of oil and gas in the Norwegian Sea

Meanwhile, financials were mixed in the early morning trade - DBS lost 0.4 per cent, or nine cents to S$24.96, United Overseas Bank gained 0.04 per cent, or one cent to S$26.01, while OCBC Bank added 0.2 per cent, or two cents to S$10.88. 

Other active index stocks included City Developments Limited which rose 1.5 per cent, or 15 cents to S$10.03, while Hongkong Land slipped 0.9 per cent, or five US cents to US$5.39. 

Elsewhere, Asian equities drifted on Thursday, after a modest dip in US equities as investors digested a weak US consumer report. Japan's Topix fell 0.2 per cent and South Korea's Kospi was flat, while Australian stocks shed 0.2 per cent.