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Singapore shares open flat on Thursday; STI down 0.15% to 3,249.97

SINGAPORE stocks opened relatively flat on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index slipping 4.8 points or 0.15 per cent to 3,249.97 as at 9.04am.

Lowers outnumbered gainers 59 to 49, as some 37.7 million shares worth S$113.1 million in total changed hands.

The most actively traded counter was Ezion with 4.02 million shares traded, rising 1.1 per cent or 0.1 Singapore cent to 9.2 Singapore cents. Other actives included Nico Steel with 3.7 million shares traded, flat at 0.2 Singapore cent apiece, and Noble Group with 3.39 million share changing hands at 12.2 Singapore cents apiece, down 0.81 per cent or 0.1 Singapore cent.

Active index stocks included Keppel Corp, advancing 0.28 per cent or two Singapore cents to S$7.11 and Singtel, flat at S$3.10.

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In US markets overnight, stocks finished solidly lower on Wednesday as the Trump administration sent mixed signals on China, reviving fears that a trade fight between Washington and Beijing would escalate. 

US markets opened on an upbeat note after President Donald Trump backed off a plan to impose aggressive new restrictions on Chinese investment in sensitive sectors in favour of a strategy that strengthened oversight of foreign takeovers but did not single out China, but investors were later startled to hear White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow say tougher action on China was still being contemplated.

Hit by revived trade war fears, Tokyo stocks also opened lower on Thursday morning.