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Singapore shares open lower on Monday; STI down 0.35% to 3,309.89

SINGAPORE shares started the week down slightly, following US and Europe markets which closed lower on Friday after a stellar week of gains. The Straits Times Index edged down 11.51 points or 0.35 per cent to 3,309.89 as at 9.04am on Monday .

About 73.1 million shares worth about S$83.7 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$1.15 per share.

Gainers outnumbered losers 72 to 62.

The most actively traded security was palm oil firm Golden-Agri Resources, which was up S$0.005 or 1.7 per cent to S$0.30 with 11.4 million shares changing hands. Other actives included Synagie and ESR-Reit.

Among financials, DBS declined S$0.07 or 0.27 per cent to S$25.85 and OCBC shares lost S$0.03 or 0.26 per cent to S$11.32. UOB saw the largest decline among the three local banks, slipping S$0.19 or 0.72 per cent to S$26.13.

Among other index stocks, Singtel was trading down S$0.01 or 0.29 per cent to S$3.43 with 3.6 million shares changing hands. Meanwhile, Ascendas Reit units dropped one Singapore cent or 0.33 per cent to S$3.03.

Both the S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.13 per cent on Friday as tensions between the United States and Iran undercut earlier optimism on upcoming trade talks between Washington and Beijing after US Vice President Mike Pence's decision to defer a speech on China policy.

Europe's Stoxx 600 index ended 0.4 per cent lower on Froday, with many investors tempted to cash in some of this month's around 4 per cent gain on escalating tensions between Washington and Iran.

"A mixed start to the week is expected" for Asia markets amid the anticipation for G20, with early movers including the ASX 200 and Nikkei 225 finding moderate losses moving into the session, said IG market strategist Jingyi Pan.