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Singapore shares nudge lower on Wednesday; STI down 0.24%

SINGAPORE shares pulled back at Wednesday's open despite Wall Street stocks edging to record highs overnight, after upbeat economic data stoked optimism about the US economy. 

On the Singapore bourse, the benchmark Straits Times Index slipped 0.24 per cent, or 7.74 points to 3,193.06 as at 9.01am. Gainers outnumbered losers 56 to 44, after about 35.5 million shares worth S$37.9 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Broadway Industrial jumped 8.4 per cent, or 0.8 Singapore cent to 10.3 Singapore cents, with 7.1 million shares traded. The mainboard-listed precision manufacturer was hit with another query over trading activity by the bourse regulator on Tuesday, after an earlier query on July 22. The board said in an update later that night that the activity might be due to ongoing talks on potential merger and acquisition deals, which were first disclosed in November. 

Meanwhile, Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust shed 0.6 per cent, or one Singapore cent to S$1.79, with some 2.5 million units traded. 

Banking stocks were mixed in the early morning trade. DBS gained 0.2 per cent, or five Singapore cents to S$25.71, United Overseas Bank added 0.1 per cent, or three Singapore cents to S$26.27, whereas OCBC Bank fell 0.2 per cent, or two Singapore cents to S$10.87. 

Other active index stocks included Singtel which shed 2.4 per cent, or eight Singapore cents to S$3.30 on an ex-dividend basis, and CapitaLand Commercial Trust which declined 1 per cent, or two Singapore cents to S$1.94. 

Yongnam gained 4.8 per cent, or 0.7 Singapore cent to 15.3 Singapore cents after the mainboard-listed steelmaker on Tuesday said it has bagged five civil engineering contracts worth S$101.3 million for infrastructure projects.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) also added 0.9 per cent, or two Singapore cents to S$2.14. This comes after its 21 per cent owned joint venture won a HDB digital display tender with a S$1.82 million bid, the media group announced on Tuesday.

Over in the US, the Dow inched up 0.1 per cent to finish at 28,267.16 for its second straight record, and the S&P 500 moved 0.03 per cent higher to 3,192.52, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.1 per cent to 8,823.36.

Elsewhere, Asian equities took a breather having climbed for five straight sessions. Stocks in Japan, Australia and South Korea fell 0.1 per cent each, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 per cent.