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Singapore shares open lower on Tuesday following US market rout; STI down 0.8%

SINGAPORE shares opened lower on Tuesday following a bloodbath in US markets overnight which saw major Wall Street indices finishing down more than 7 per cent.

The Straits Times Index lost 21.50 points or 0.8 per cent to 2,760.87 as at 9.09am.

Losers outnumbered gainers 158 to 72, after 135 million securities worth S$272.1 million changed hands.

Rex International was the most traded counter by volume in the morning, rising 0.1 Singapore cent or 0.8 per cent to 12.7 cents after 10.4 million shares were traded.

Other actives included AusGroup which was flat at 2.6 Singapore cents with eight million shares changing hands, and Genting Singapore which fell 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.7 per cent to 72.5 cents on five million shares traded.

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Singtel slipped S$0.01 or 0.4 per cent to S$2.80 after 5.8 million shares changed hands.

All three local banks lost ground in early trade after Citi Research on Monday downgraded Singapore banks to "sell".

DBS slid S$0.61 or 2.9 per cent to S$20.54, OCBC lost S$0.17 or 1.8 per cent to S$9.35 while UOB decreased S$0.23 or 1.1 per cent to S$21.27.

The severe decline in US markets was sparked by an oil price crash and fears over the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

At the end of a day-long rout in US markets, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 23,851.02, a loss of more than 2,000 points or 7.8 per cent, making it the worst session since December 2008.

The broad-based S&P 500 slid 7.6 per cent to 2,746.56, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 7.3 per cent to 7,950.68.

Meanwhile, European shares ended at an eight-month low on Monday as the pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed down 7.4 per cent, marking its worst day since the 2008-09 financial crisis. 

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped after the opening bell, trading down 3.1 per cent or 607.17 points at 19,091.59 about 10 minutes after trade began.

The broader Topix was down 2.9 per cent or 39.53 points at 1,349.44.

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