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Singapore shares open lower on Thursday; STI down 0.9% to 3,583.09

SINGAPORE stocks opened lower on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index retreating 0.9 per cent, or 32.19 points to 3,583.09 as at 9.04 am.

About 57.8 million shares worth S$249.4 million in total changed hands.

The most actively traded counter was Ezion, which fell S$0.005 or 4.6 per cent to S$0.104 with 7.83 million shares changing hands. Other actives included MDR, flat at S$0.003 with 7.06 million shares traded; and AusGroup, up S$0.001 to S$0.05 with 2.6 million shares changing hands.

Active index stocks included DBS at S$29.18, down S$1.43 or 4.7 per cent, and UOB at S$29.59, down S$0.40 or 1.3 per cent.

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Losers outnumbered gainers 74 to 49, or about three down for every two up.

In the US overnight, Wall Street stocks finished lower on Wednesday with the Dow industrial average down 0.7 per cent as the market shrugged off strong Apple earnings as the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady but flagged higher inflation. Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said the declines reflect "resistance" amid worries over a trade war, tightening monetary policy and ongoing political turmoil in Washington.

Apple shares jumped 4.4 per cent after reporting better-than-expected earnings late Tuesday and unveiling a new US$100 billion share buyback plan.

Japanese markets are closed on May 3-4 for public holidays, with trading resuming on Monday, May 7.