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Singapore shares open lower on Monday; STI down 0.45% to 3,362.86

SINGAPORE shares fell when trading began at the start of the week, ahead of the release of a slew of economic data and local corporate earnings. The decline on the Singapore bourse also tracks Wall Street’s losses at Friday’s close.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.45 per cent or 15.1 points to 3,362.86 points as at 9.02am on Monday.

Losers outnumbers gainers 68 to 41, after 38.7 million securities worth S$49.98 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume was China Star Food which gained 6.06 per cent or 0.2 Singapore cent to 3.5 cents with 3.9 million shares changing hands as at 9.02am. Genting Singapore was unchanged at S$0.92 with 1.6 million shares traded, while Hupsteel rose 0.85 per cent or one cent to S$1.19 with 1.2 million shares traded.

As for banking stocks, DBS was flat at S$26.62, OCBC was down 0.52 per cent or six Singapore cents to S$11.58, while UOB fell 0.78 per cent or 21 cents to S$26.73.

Other active index securities included Hongkong Land, which lost 0.76 per cent or five US cents to US$6.56 as at 9.02am, and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) which slipped 0.13 per cent or one Singapore cent to S$7.98. Ascendas Reit was also down 0.99 per cent or three cents to S$3.00.

Sinostar PEC fell 5.41 per cent or one Singapore cent to 17.5 cents as at 9.02am. The mainboard-listed company said on Sunday that it expects a net loss for the second quarter ended June 30.

Meanwhile, newcomer Prime US Reit was up 0.57 per cent or 0.5 US cent at 88.5 cents at Monday’s open. On Friday, it made a tepid debut on SGX, closing at its initial public offering price of 88 US cents.

In the Singapore market, investors are gearing up for the corporate earnings season for the April-June period, although there is still economic data to digest.

A slew of economic data indicators in Singapore will be released this week. June consumer price index and core inflation figures will be out on Tuesday, while industrial production figures will be out on Thursday. Friday sees Q2 unemployment rate and the final print for the Urban Redevelopment Authority's private home prices for Q2.

In the US, Wall Street’s main indices fell at Friday’s close as the Federal Reserve signalled a smaller interest-rate cut.

The benchmark S&P 500 erased its earlier marginal gains, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Fed plans to cut rates by only a quarter-percentage point at the end of the month.

In China, a new Nasdaq-style technology board begins trading on Monday, representing one of the most significant market reforms in the country, and a potential weapon in China’s growing tech rivalry with the US.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Sci-Tech Innovation Board – dubbed the Star Market – will see 25 stocks debuting on Monday. Listing and trading rules have been eased for the board, to help channel funding to startups.