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Singapore shares fall at Monday's open; STI down 1.5%

SINGAPORE shares fell when trading began at the start of the week, with the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) losing 39.27 points or 1.5 per cent to 2,645.36 as at 9.01am. 

Decliners outnumbered advancers 101 to 65, after 48.5 million securities worth S$80.4 million changed hands. 

Among the index securities, the most heavily traded by volume was Singtel, which lost S$0.02 or 0.8 per cent to S$2.53 on a cum-dividend basis with some 2.2 million shares traded, while ComfortDelGro fell S$0.03 or 1.9 per cent to S$1.58, with 1.7 million shares changing hands.

CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) was also trading lower, losing S$0.02 or 1 per cent to S$2.03, with 1.4 million units changing hands. CMT's manager on Monday said it expects to provide additional rental relief of up to one month of rent, or other forms of rental assistance for June, to small and medium enterprise tenants that do not qualify for help under a new rental relief law.

Amid a sea of red, the trio of local banks all fell in early trade. DBS declined S$0.29 or 1.3 per cent to S$21.64, UOB lost S$1.08 or 4.9 per cent to S$21.20 on an ex-dividend basis, and OCBC Bank was down S$0.14 or 1.5 per cent to S$9.10. 

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Other active securities include SATS, which fell S$0.09 or 2.8 per cent to S$3.17, and Frasers Logistics and Commercial Trust, which shed S$0.03 or 2.6 per cent to S$1.12. 

Over in the US, Wall Street stocks clawed back some losses to close higher last Friday, as investors weighed rising Covid-19 cases in some states. Despite the gains, major indices finished the week lower after markets on Thursday suffered their worst one-day falls since March, as market observers were rattled by the Federal Reserve's grim outlook of US economic prospects, and renewed concerns that a new wave of virus infections was approaching. 

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday amid nerves over a second wave of domestic coronavirus infections, and as investors awaited a set of Chinese data due later in the day.

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