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Singapore shares fall at Monday's open; STI down 0.2%

SINGAPORE shares slipped when trading began at the start of the week, with the Straits Times Index (STI) retreating 4.51 points or 0.2 per cent to 2,505.13 as at 9.01am.

This comes after a pull-back in US tech stocks spooked Asian markets on Friday, with US equities tumbling by the most in almost three months.

On the Singapore bourse, decliners outnumbered advancers 58 to 49, after 33.6 million securities worth S$45.4 million changed hands.

Among the index securities, the most heavily traded by volume was Thai Beverage, which was flat at 60.5 Singapore cents with 2.4 million shares traded.

Financial stocks were mostly down in early trade. DBS shed S$0.13 or 0.6 per cent to S$20.55, UOB lost S$0.04 or 0.2 per cent to S$19.41, while OCBC was flat at S$8.56. The trio of local lenders averaged 4.2 per cent in total returns in August this year, outpacing the median total return of the top quartile of global banking stocks by market value, according to the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) market update on Friday.

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Other active securities included Medtecs International which rose S$0.04 or 2.9 per cent to S$1.42 on a cum-dividend basis, while Synagie gained 0.5 Singapore cent or 2.2 per cent to 23.5 cents.

CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) added S$0.02 or 1 per cent to S$1.95. This comes after the managers of CMT and CapitaLand Commercial Trust on Friday announced deal sweeteners for their proposed merger, such as higher accretion to their respective distribution per unit, and the decision of CMT's manager to completely waive the acquisition fee of S$111.2 million.

Meanwhile, Keppel Corp lost S$0.04 or 0.9 per cent to S$4.32, while SGX slipped S$0.07 or 0.8 per cent to S$8.61.

Over on Wall Street, US stocks ended lower on Friday, with tech shares tumbling in a continued selloff. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.6 per cent to finish the week at 28,133.31, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.8 per cent to 3,426.96.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.3 per cent to end at 11,313.13, adding to the losses from Thursday's 5 per cent rout. US markets are closed on Monday for Labour Day.

European shares ended lower in a wild trading session on Friday as tech stocks tracked losses on Wall Street, while merger talks between two Spanish lenders propped up the banking index.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index settled 1.1 per cent lower after flitting between gains and losses, while also shedding about 1.9 per cent last week on a two-day tech rout.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday. The Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 per cent or 74.28 points to 23,131.15 in early trade, while the broader Topix index lost 0.3 per cent or 4.39 points to 1,612.21.

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