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Singapore shares fall 15.09 points in first minute of trading on Tuesday

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SINGAPORE stocks opened lower for a second day this week just as the first US presidential debate kicked off on Tuesday.

Echoing Asian markets elsewhere, the benchmark Straits Times Index dipped 15.09 points or 0.53 per cent to 2,834.85 at 9.01am.

A total of 31.9 million shares worth S$67.1 million changed hands. Losers beat gainers 72 to 33.

Bloomberg reported that the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.8 per cent as at 9.18am Tokyo time, led by losses in financial shares. Japan's Topix index dropped by the most since early August.

Observers have attributed the risk-off slides to what the televised US presidential debates might entail. The first debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump kicked off at 9pm in New York (9am Singapore time).

While observers said Tuesday's debate may not decide the outcome of the election, it may add more uncertainty to the race, Reuters reported.

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