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Singapore shares fall at open tracking Wall St selloff; STI down 0.1%

SINGAPORE shares opened lower on Friday, after Wall Street indices ended in the red overnight. As at 9.02am, the benchmark Straits Times Index had slipped 4.26 points or 0.1 per cent to 3,194.42.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 78 to 59, after about 77.7 million securities worth S$75.9 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding added S$0.01 or 1 per cent to S$1.05, with 8.5 million shares traded, while Genting Singapore was flat at S$0.88, with 2.5 million shares traded. 

The trio of banking stocks also faltered in the morning trade, notwithstanding positive financial results from United Overseas Bank (UOB) and OCBC Bank, before the market opened. 

DBS slipped S$0.06 or 0.2 per cent to S$25.04, UOB lost S$0.09 or 0.4 per cent to S$25.78, and OCBC Bank shed S$0.01 or 0.1 per cent to S$11.03. 

On Friday, UOB posted a 10 per cent rise in net profit to S$1.01 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter from a year ago, while OCBC Bank's Q4 net profit jumped 34 per cent to S$1.24 billion from the previous year. 

Other active index securities included Wilmar International, which gained S$0.06 or 1.5 per cent to S$4.10. The agri-business group on Thursday posted a 23 per cent surge in core net profit to US$410 million on the back of strong performance from its tropical oils and oilseeds businesses. 

Separately, Singapore Exchange retreated S$0.15 or 1.6 per cent to S$9.11. 

Over in the US, stocks pulled back from record highs as investors were once again spooked by the Covid-19 outbreak in China. The Dow lost 0.4 per cent to close at 29,219.98, and the S&P 500 shed about 0.4 per cent to end at 3,373.23, while the tech-rich Nasdaq fell 0.7 per cent to 9,750.96.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, equities were mixed with Japan's Topix adding 0.3 per cent in the morning trade, while South Korea's Kospi plunged 1.1 per cent, and Australian stocks dipped 0.1 per cent.