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Singapore shares fall 0.3% on Thursday despite US tariffs delay

WASHINGTON "returned the favour" by delaying tariffs on Chinese imports till mid-October but investors, who are more than familiar with the unpredictable nature of the trade relationship, chose to book profits ahead of the European Central Bank's rate decision.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) moved ahead at opening before positions were closed, sending the benchmark lower to close down 9.56 points or 0.3 per cent at 3,194.96 on Thursday.

It was mixed elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific as Australia, China, Japan and South Korea locked in gains. Like the local market, Hong Kong and Malaysia posted losses.

In Singapore, trading volume clocked in at 985.7 million securities, 82 per cent of the daily average in the first eight months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$1.01 billion, 93 per cent of the January-to-August daily average.

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Across the market, decliners beat advancers 181 to 179. The blue-chip index had 13 of its 30 counters in the red.

With 75.9 million shares changing hands, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding maintained its place as the STI's most active counter. Its stock advanced five Singapore cents or 4.7 per cent to S$1.11. Shares in the shipbuilder continue to recover after diving 30 per cent over two sessions in August.

The local banks recorded gains on Thursday. DBS Group Holdings was the best-performing of the three, advancing S$0.12 or 0.5 per cent to S$25.37. Meanwhile, OCBC Bank edged up one cent to close at S$11.01 and United Overseas Bank finished at S$26.41, up S$0.04 or 0.2 per cent.

Thai Beverage saw heavier-than-usual trading, adding 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.6 per cent to 90.5 cents with 31.5 million shares changing hands.

TEE International was up 0.4 Singapore cent or 12.9 per cent to 3.5 cents before it called for a trading halt in the morning amid a probe into unauthorised transactions made under the instruction of its group chief executive and managing director.