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Singapore shares fall at Thursday's open after Fed announcement; STI down 1.1%

SINGAPORE stocks opened lower on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve confirmed that it will keep the benchmark interest rate at zero until recovery is underway.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) fell 1.1 per cent or 31.13 points to 2,796.44 as at 9.07am. Losers outnumbered gainers 117 to 55, after 89.1 million securities worth S$150.2 million changed hands.

Among the most active counters by volume was Genting Singapore, which lost one Singapore cent or 1.3 per cent to 78.5 cents, with 6.1 million shares changing hands. 

Other heavily traded securities include ComfortDelGro, which dipped 0.6 per cent or S$0.01 to S$1.62, with four million shares traded. On Wednesday, the land transport giant said its advertising arm Moove Media will be sponsoring acrylic shields on dining tables in Koufu's Thomson Plaza foodcourt in a bid to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Singtel slid 0.8 per cent or S$0.02 to S$2.63, with 3.6 million shares changing hands. 

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The trio of local banks all fell in early trade. DBS was down 1.3 per cent or S$0.29 at S$22.77, UOB fell 1.1 per cent or S$0.26 to S$22.84, while OCBC lost 1 per cent or S$0.10 to S$9.63.

Other active index counters include Singapore Airlines, which slipped 1.4 per cent or S$0.06 to S$4.29. Sembcorp Industries fell 2.5 per cent or S$0.05 to S$1.99, while CapitaLand lost 1.9 per cent or S$0.06 to S$3.10. 

US stocks finished mostly lower on Wednesday following a volatile session as the Federal Reserve vowed at the close of its two-day policy-setting meeting to keep interest rates low due to the "shaky" economic outlook.

European stocks also closed lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the Fed's first economic projections since the Covid-19 pandemic set off a recession in February.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday as the yen firmed against the dollar following the Fed's interest rate announcement.

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