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Singapore shares fall at Monday's open; STI down 0.15%

SINGAPORE shares started the week lower despite gains in US markets on Friday following the announcement of a US-China "phase-one" trade deal.

Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 4.92 points or 0.15 per cent to 3,209.13 as at 9.15am on Monday, according to data from ShareInvestor.com.

Gainers outnumbered losers 57 to 40, after 43.4 million securities worth S$47.9 million changed hands.

Rex International was the most traded counter by volume in the morning, rising S$0.005 or 2.7 per cent to S$0.191 after 21 million shares were traded as at 9.16am.

Other actives included Golden Agri-Resources which was flat at S$0.22 with 4.6 million shares changing hands, and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding which fell S$0.02 or 1.8 per cent to S$1.11 on 4.5 million shares traded. Singtel slipped S$0.02 or 0.6 per cent to S$3.37 after 1.5 million shares changed hands.

All three local banks lost ground in early trade, as DBS fell S$0.11 or 0.4 per cent to S$25.71, OCBC lost S$0.01 or 0.1 per cent to S$10.96 while UOB decreased S$0.04 or 0.2 per cent to S$26.33.

In the US, stocks hit record highs at Friday's close after the US and China announced an initial trade agreement, cooling tensions that have rattled markets.

The S&P 500 technology sector and the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished solidly in positive territory, with gains in Apple Inc providing a boost.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.33 points or 0.01 per cent to 28,135.38, the S&P 500 gained 0.23 point or 0.01 per cent to 3,168.8 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.56 points or 0.2 per cent to 8,734.88.

In Europe, the breakthrough in US-China trade talks and hopes of an orderly Brexit after a landslide election victory for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted Europe's benchmark share index to within striking distance of an all-time high on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 1.1 per cent

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo also opened lower as investors began profit-taking. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.25 per cent or 60.31 points to 23,962.79 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.06 per cent or 0.97 points at 1,739.01.