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Singapore shares open lower on Tuesday; STI down 0.07%

SINGAPORE shares fell at the opening bell of a half-day Christmas Eve trading session on Tuesday despite US stocks closing higher on Monday.

Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 2.21 points or 0.07 per cent to 3,211.79 as at 9.05am.

However, gainers still outnumbered losers 61 to 47, after 55.7 million securities worth S$51.9 million changed hands.

Watch-list stock Broadway Industrial was the most traded counter by volume in the morning, rising S$0.003 or 2.6 per cent to S$0.117 after 8.9 million shares were traded.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding continued to be heavily traded following news its executive chairman Ren Yuanlin had returned to office after a four-month absence to assist the authorities in China over a confidential probe. Its shares were up S$0.01 or 0.9 per cent to S$1.15 after 7.9 million shares changed hands.

Singtel was up S$0.02 or 0.6 per cent to S$3.36 while Suntec Reit edged down S$0.01 or 0.6 per cent to S$1.81.

All three local banks lost ground in early trade, as DBS fell S$0.04 or 0.2 per cent to S$25.87, OCBC lost S$0.01 or 0.1 per cent to S$10.93 and UOB slid the most, down S$0.18 or 0.7 per cent to S$26.29.

Wall Street stocks finished at records again on Monday, with an executive shakeup at Boeing lifting the Dow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.3 per cent to finish the last full session before Christmas at 28,551.53.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.1 per cent to end at 3,224.01, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 per cent to 8,945.65.

Boeing jumped 2.9 per cent after the embattled aerospace company ousted Dennis Muilenburg as chief executive and appointed board chairman David Calhoun for the job.

In Europe, shares closed a sliver away from all-time highs on Monday, as a slide in eurozone banks countered optimism over the US-China trade deal and a stellar run for UK shares.

With trading volumes falling as investors leave on Christmas holidays, analysts warn that market action could be volatile. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index saw trading volume down to 63 per cent of its 30-day moving average on Monday.

The index closed flat after hitting a new record earlier in the session.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher extending rallies on Wall Street, as trading volume was declined amid a year-end holiday season.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.06 per cent or 13.89 points to 23,835.00 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.05 per cent or 0.94 per cent at 1,730.36.