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Singapore shares open lower on Wednesday; STI down 0.23%

SINGAPORE shares started Wednesday lower, after two of the US's three major indices had closed lower overnight. The Straits Times Index lost 7.40 points or 0.23 per cent to 3,231.47 as at 9.06am.

Losers edged out gainers 57 to 55, after 46.3 million securities worth S$73.3 million changed hands.

The most actively traded security was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, unchanged at S$1.06 after 3.7 million shares were traded. Other actives included Yoma Strategic, UnUsUaL and Rex International.

Among index securities, Singtel was trading up S$0.01 or 0.3 per cent to S$3.20 with 2.8 million shares changing hands, while Ascendas Reit units were down S$0.03 or 1 per cent to S$2.90.

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All three local lenders started the day lower, with DBS losing S$0.11 or 0.4 per cent to S$26.33, OCBC shares retreating S$0.03 or 0.3 per cent to S$11.09 and UOB down S$0.16 or 0.6 per cent to S$26.51.

The Dow's two-day streak of records ended on Tuesday following a big drop in Home Depot shares over a disappointing sales forecast.

Home Depot plunged more than 5 per cent as it slashed its full-year sales forecast, saying the payoff from investments in e-commerce and other ventures was taking longer than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 per cent to end at 27,933.98, while the S&P 500 retreated from a record, shedding 0.1 per cent to close at 3,120.18.

But the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 per cent to 8,570.66, notching a third straight record.

European stocks reversed course to close lower in a choppy session on Tuesday as lack of clarity on the progress of trade talks between Washington and Beijing kept investors from making bold bets.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.5 per cent to its highest level since July 2015 in morning trade, but pared gains to closer marginally lower tracking Wall Street's retreat from record highs in early US session.

Like Singapore, Tokyo stocks fell in early trade. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.40 per cent or 93.29 points to 23,199.36, while the broader Topix index dropped 0.42 per cent or 7.05 points at 1,689.68.