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Singapore shares open lower on Monday; STI down 0.2%

SINGAPORE stocks fell on Monday morning, tracking US losses on Friday. 

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) slipped 0.2 per cent or 4.28 points to 2,630.55 as at 9.08am. Losers outnumbered gainers 95 to 60, after 76.3 million securities worth S$116.5 million changed hands.

Among the most active counters by volume was Singapore Airlines, which lost S$0.02 or 0.5 per cent to S$3.98, with 1.4 million shares changing hands. 

Other heavily traded securities include Singtel, which traded flat at S$2.52 as at 9.08am, and Thai Beverage Public Co, which traded flat at 70.5 Singapore cents.

The trio of local banks showed mixed results in early trade. DBS lost 0.6 per cent or S$0.12 to S$21.04.

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UOB declined 1.1 per cent or S$0.22 to S$20.56. The bank is reopening seven more branches in shopping malls and retail areas on Monday, adding to the 48 branches open islandwide.

OCBC rose 0.2 per cent or S$0.02 to S$9.12. The lender recently said that its sustainable finance portfolio has surpassed S$10 billion in size, a goal it was targeting to achieve by 2022.

Other active index counters include CapitaLand, which edged up 0.7 per cent or S$0.02 to S$2.95. Its wholly-owned lodging business unit The Ascott Limited on Monday launched a points purchase feature for its loyalty programme, which it said "remained a resilient channel to drive direct online booking revenue during the Covid-19 outbreak".

Genting Singapore slipped 1.3 per cent or S$0.01 to 76.5 cents, while the Singapore Exchange fell 1 per cent or S$0.08 to S$8.21.

In the US, the S&P 500 ended lower on Friday after an up-and-down session as investors weighed spiking cases of Covid-19 and Apple's announcement of fresh store closures against anticipated stimulus and continued economic recovery.

European shares closed higher on Friday, with defensive plays leading gains as investors remained hopeful that a massive stimulus package will soon be passed even though EU leaders made little progress in negotiations.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday, with fears over increasing global virus infections outweighing hopes for a resumption of business activity, and investors eyeing economic indicators due this week.

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