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Singapore shares open flat on Wednesday; STI edges down 0.02% to 3,160.02

SINGAPORE shares started Wednesday almost flat following mixed corporate earnings in the US and Europe markets overnight. The Straits Times Index declined 0.65 points or 0.02 per cent to 3,160.02 as at 9.03am.

About 43.1 million shares worth about S$64.6 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$1.50 per share.

Gainers outnumbered losers 63 to 46.

The most actively traded security was Golden Agri-Resources, down S$0.005 or 2.4 per cent to S$0.205 with about 7.2 million shares changing hands.

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Watch-listed SunMoon Food Company was up S$0.001 or 1.5 per cent to S$0.07 after 3.7 million shares were traded.

Mapletree Logistics Trust was up S$0.02 or 1.2 per cent to S$1.68 after it announced its private placement of S$1.617 per new unit was over 13 times covered.

Among financials, all three local banks lost ground with DBS edging down S$0.01 or 0.04 per cent to S$24.90, OCBC shares losing S$0.02 or 0.2 per cent to S$10.69 and UOB declining S$0.06 or 0.2 per cent to S$25.83.

Among other index stocks, Singtel saw heavier trading, down S$0.01 or 0.3 per cent to S$3.25 with 2.2 million shares changing hands.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.27 per cent or 59.94 points at 22,608.84 in early trade while the broader Topix index rose 0.28 per cent or 4.52 points at 1,633.12.

Wall Street stocks finished lower on Tuesday, with tech companies especially weak, following mixed corporate earnings that boosted Procter & Gamble and pummeled McDonald's.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.2 per cent lower at 26,788.10. The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.4 per cent to 2,995.99, while the Nasdaq dropped 0.7 per cent to 8,104.30.

Technology companies with especially big drops included Netflix, which fell 4.1 per cent and Facebook, which shed 3.9 per cent after 47 attorneys general said they are pursuing an antitrust probe of the company.

Mixed earnings reports kept European stocks almost flat, with London's midcap index suffering from doubts over whether British lawmakers will back the government's Brexit bill on Tuesday.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished up just 0.1 per cent, with a weaker pound helping London's exporter-laden FTSE 100 outperform with a 0.7 per cent gain. Others including Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 were marginally higher.