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Singapore shares open lower on Friday as fears of global trade war grow; STI down 2%

SINGAPORE shares opened 2 per cent lower on Friday, with the Straits Times Index (STI) down 71.06 points to 3,420.31 at 9.02am as stock markets in Asia slid after US President Donald Trump announced long-promised tariffs on Chinese goods on Thursday, stoking fears of a global trade war.

Mr Trump signed a presidential memorandum that could see tariffs of up to US$60 billion imposed on China's exports to the US, although the measures have a 30-day consultation period. China has since unveiled a list of potential retaliatory tariffs on 128 US goods that include pork, wine and steel on Friday.

On the Singapore Exchange, about 71 million shares worth S$101 million in total changed hands as losers outnumbered gainers 185 to 15.

The most actively traded stock was Rowsley, which rose S$0.003 to S$0.127 with 78.7 million shares changing hands.

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Other actives included JEP Holdings and Marco Polo Marine.

Active index stocks included DBS, down S$0.55 or 2 per cent at S$27.57; and OCBC Bank shares trading down S$0.34 or 2.6 per cent at S$12.92.

On Wall Street, the Dow shed 2.9 per cent, the S&P 500 dropped 2.5 per cent and the Nasdaq fell 2.4 per cent on Thursday.

In regional markets, Australian stocks lost 1.65 per cent and Japan's Nikkei dropped 1.9 per cent. Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi retreated 2 per cent.