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Singapore shares fall amid global plunge after Trump tariff blow; STI down 0.57% at open

SINGAPORE stocks started Friday’s morning session in negative territory, tracking sharp declines in global markets after US President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.57 per cent or 18.87 points to 3,272.88 points as at 9.03am.

Losers outpaced gainers 104 to 39, after 45.7 million shares worth S$86.3 million changed hands.

The most heavily traded by volume were CapitaLand Commercial Trust which fell 0.49 per cent or one Singapore cent to S$2.05 with 3.2 million shares changing hands as at 9.03am, Hutchison Port Holdings Trust which was flat at US$0.215 with 2.5 million shares traded, and ESR-Reit which was flat at S$0.525 with 2.2 million shares traded.

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Among banking stocks, DBS was flat at S$26.51 on a cum-dividend basis as at 9.03am, while OCBC lost 1.23 per cent or 14 cents to S$11.28 and UOB gained 0.5 per cent or 13 cents to S$26.41.

The latter two banks reported their second-quarter results on Friday morning before trading hours. OCBC’s net profit inched up 1 per cent to S$1.22 billion for Q2, mainly from record earnings from its banking franchise, while UOB posted an 8 per cent rise in net profit to S$1.17 billion on the back of strong loan growth and higher trading and investment income.

Other active index securities included Singtel, which dropped 0.6 per cent or two cents to S$3.34 as at 9.03am, and Suntec Reit which was flat at S$1.90 on an ex-dividend basis.

Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT) gained 2.13 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to S$0.24 as at 9.06am. LMIRT on Thursday evening raised its second-quarter distribution per unit to 0.6 Singapore cent, after it recently refinanced maturing debts with a five-year bond issuance.

BreadTalk Group was down 3.5 per cent or 2.5 cents to S$0.69 as at 9.06am. This comes after the food and beverage operator announced on Thursday that its second-quarter earnings had more than halved due to expansion-related costs.

The Singapore bourse’s losses at Friday’s open follows the plunge in Wall Street stocks overnight.

US stocks finished decisively lower on Thursday, after Mr Trump made an early-afternoon tweet announcing new tariffs on another US$300 billion in Chinese goods, which sent investors to the exits and left the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.1 per cent lower at the closing bell.

Mr Trump's announcement of the 10 per cent tariff to take effect on Sept 1 jolted US stocks from a rally following the Federal Reserve's move on Wednesday to cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened sharply lower on Friday with nearly 2 per cent in losses, as investor sentiment was likewise hit by global selloffs over Mr Trump’s new tariffs on China and the yen’s rise against the US dollar.

On Thursday, Asian markets including Singapore had closed mostly lower after the Fed's 25 basis point rate cut.