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Singapore shares open lower on Thursday on Wuhan virus concerns; STI down 0.17%

SINGAPORE stocks opened lower on Thursday, following a flat performance on Wall Street overnight and investor concern over the Wuhan virus, which continues to see a rising death toll. 

The Straits Times Index lost 0.17 per cent or 5.56 points to 3,248.37 points as at 9.03am on Thursday.

Losers outnumbered gainers 78 to 60, after about 93.4 million securities worth S$96.2 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded were Medtecs International, which rose 0.3 Singapore cent or 3.1 per cent to S$0.101, with 12.5 million shares traded, and Ntegrator International which rose 0.1 cent or 6.7 per cent to S$0.016, with 10 million shares traded. 

CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) and CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) were also among the actively traded in the early morning on news of their proposed S$8.27 billion merger.

CCT units were trading four Singapore cents or 1.9 per cent higher to S$2.17 on a cum-dividend basis, with six million shares traded, while CMT units were trading four Singapore cents or 1.5 per cent higher to S$2.63 on a cum-dividend basis, with 3.8 million shares traded. 

Banking stocks started the morning trade in the red. DBS fell five Singapore cents or 0.2 per cent to S$26.35, UOB lost 20 Singapore cents or 0.8 per cent to S$26.35, and OCBC dropped five Singapore cents or 0.5 per cent to S$11.14. 

Other active index securities included Singtel which rose three Singapore cents or 0.9 per cent to S$3.31, and Singapore Airlines which lost four Singapore cents or 0.5 per cent to S$8.89. 

The Singapore bourse's slight losses on Thursday morning follows Wall Street closing flat overnight and Europe's slightly weaker performance. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broader S&P 500 were both about flat, and the Nasdaq managed closed 0.1 per cent higher. 

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was 0.1 per cent lower, and Frankfurt's DAX lost 0.3 per cent after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose high tariffs on car imports from the European Union. This pushed automobile stocks to a three-month low.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, Tokyo shares opened lower on investor concern over the Wuhan pneumonia. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.77 per cent to 23,846.82 in early trade, and Topix index fell 0.58 per cent to 1,733.94.