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Singapore shares open lower on Monday; STI down 0.6% to 3,240.86

SINGAPORE shares opened lower at the start of the week, with the Straits Times Index (STI) falling 0.6 per cent, or 20.25 points to 3,240.86 as at 9.01am. 

Decliners outnumbered advancers 72 to 37, after about 35.9 million shares worth S$104.4 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Golden Agri-Resources was trading flat at S$0.295, with 5.2 million shares traded, and Genting Singapore fell 1.1 per cent, or one Singapore cent to S$0.89, with 4.7 million shares traded. 

Meanwhile, banking stocks traded mixed shortly after the opening bell - DBS slipped 1.1 per cent, or 30 Singapore cents to S$25.95 on an ex-dividend basis; OCBC fell 0.6 per cent, or seven cents to S$11.14 on a cum-dividend basis; and UOB added 0.2 per cent, or six cents to S$26.06 on a cum-dividend basis.

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Other active index stocks were also in the red in early morning trade, with Venture down 0.9 per cent, or 13 cents to S$14.87, and Singapore Exchange losing 0.8 per cent, or six cents to S$7.92 on a cum-dividend basis. 

Most STI components have already reported earnings for the April-June period. That said, this week will see four more companies post earnings, starting with Yangzijiang Shipbuilding on Wednesday. On Thursday, Singtel, Venture Corp and City Developments will report earnings, ahead of Friday's National Day break.

Elsewhere in Asia, equities hobbled near two-month lows, dogged by an intractable US-China trade war, after US President Donald Trump abruptly decided to slap yet another 10 per cent tariffs on US$300 billion in Chinese imports last Thursday, stunning markets. In response, China vowed to fight back. 

On Monday morning, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell for a seventh straight day to a two-month trough of 502.83, down 0.25 per cent, marking the longest stretch of losses since October 2018, data from Reuters shows. 

Japan's Nikkei slipped 1.1 per cent to the lowest since early June, Australian shares slipped to their fourth straight session in the red, while South Korea's Kospi tumbled 1.2 per cent to hit the lowest since Dec 2016.

In other news, central banks in India, New Zealand and Australia are among those that will set interest rates this week.