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Singapore shares open lower on Thursday after US stock futures tumble; STI down 0.41% to 3,077.08

SINGAPORE shares slipped at the opening bell on Thursday as US stock futures tumbled in early Asian trade after a media report that the US and China had made no progress in deputy-level trade talks earlier in the week.

The Straits Times Index lost 12.82 points or 0.41 per cent to 3,077.08 as at 9.04am.

About 27.1 million shares worth about S$64.5 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$2.38 per share.

Losers outnumbered gainers 64 to 35. 

Keppel DC Reit saw heavy trading after it said on Wednesday night it had raised S$242.8 million in gross proceeds from its oversubscribed preferential offering at an issue price of S$1.71 per unit. Its units were down S$0.02 or 1 per cent to S$1.96 after 3.5 million units changed hands.

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ESR-Reit and Y Ventures were among other heavily traded securities.

Among financials, all three local banks were down with DBS retreating S$0.06 or 0.2 per cent to S$24.54, OCBC shares losing S$0.01 or 0.1 per cent to S$10.60 and UOB down S$0.15 or 0.6 per cent to S$25.21.

Among other index stocks, Singtel was trading down S$0.01 or 0.3 per cent to S$3.13, while Mapletree Commercial Trust dropped S$0.02 or 0.9 per cent to S$2.34.

Media reports said the Chinese delegation in the trade talks, headed by Vice-Premier Liu He, is planning to leave Washington on Thursday after just one day of minister-level meetings, instead of an originally planned departure set for Friday.

S&P 500 mini futures slumped 1.1 per cent and Chicago-traded futures imply a fall of 0.4 per cent for Japan's Nikkei.

US and Europe stocks had both gained ground on Wednesday as sentiment ahead of key US-China trade talks were more upbeat during those trading sessions.

Major US indices had lost more than 1 per cent on Tuesday after new US sanctions on Chinese entities prompted a brusque response from Beijing, setting a harsh tone ahead of high-level trade talks due to begin on Thursday.

But US stocks were in positive territory the entire day on Wednesday following reports that a pared-down agreement was still possible.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 per cent to close at 26,346.14. The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.9 per cent to 2,919.40, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1.0 per cent to 7,903.74.

German shares led the charge among European shares, adding 1 per cent, while the pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.4 per cent recovering from Tuesday's 1 per cent decline when hostility from both sides in the US-China dispute dented sentiment.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.28 per cent, or 59.47 points at 21,515.85 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.03 per cent or 0.41 points at 1,581.29.

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