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Singapore shares little changed at Monday’s open; STI down 0.08%

SINGAPORE shares were down slightly when trading began at the start of the week, following Friday’s gloomy economic data, although the record highs on Wall Street amid rate cut hopes helped to curb losses. Investors were also awaiting the release of China's gross domestic product (GDP) data for the second quarter.

The Straits Times Index slipped 0.08 per cent, or 2.75 points to 3,354.59 points as at 9.03am on Monday.

Gainers outnumbered losers 70 to 43, after 53 million securities worth S$74.6 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume was watch-listed AusGroup, which jumped 11.5 per cent or 0.3 Singapore cent to 2.9 cents with 3.2 million shares traded as at 9.04am. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding rose 0.7 per cent or one cent to S$1.50 with 2.6 million shares changing hands, and Singtel slipped 0.3 per cent or one cent to S$3.53 on a cum-dividend basis with 2.2 million shares traded.

Active index stocks included DBS, which gained 0.4 per cent or 10 cents to S$25.88, CapitaLand which was flat at S$3.69, and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) which moved up 0.1 per cent or one cent to S$8.00 as at 9.04am.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) lost 2.8 per cent or seven cents to S$2.42 in Monday’s morning trade. The media and property group had on Friday reported a 44 per cent drop in third-quarter net profit to S$26.2 million.

Yoma Strategic gained 1.3 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cents to S$0.39 as at 9.04am. The mainboard-listed company on Sunday said that French spirits giant Pernod Ricard has subscribed to 34 per cent of a whisky joint venture (JV). Yoma Strategic now holds 19.8 per cent of the JV.

Wilmar International rose 1.6 per cent or six cents to S$3.82. The company said on Friday night that the China Securities Regulatory Commission has accepted its unit Yihai Kerry Arawana Holdings' application to list on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. 

Health Management International was unchanged at 71.5 Singapore cents as at 9.05am. The healthcare player appointed Ernst & Young Corporate Finance as the independent financial adviser for the deal to take the company private.

On Friday, disappointing flash estimates revealed that Singapore’s economy in the second quarter slowed more than expected to near stalling speed.

However, in the US, three of Wall Street’s main indices popped to fresh records later on Friday, ending the week on an emphatic note as investors grew increasingly confident that the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at the end of the month.