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Singapore shares open lower on Wednesday; STI down 0.4% to 3,099.40

SINGAPORE shares tracked Wall Street's late session selloff overnight to open lower on Wednesday, with the Straits Times Index losing 0.4 per cent, or 11.45 points to 3,099.40 as at 9.02am. 

This comes as Washington's decision to impose visa restrictions on Chinese government officials for the treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang, revived concerns about trade tension between the world's two largest economies. The move came only hours after the Trump administration widened its trade blacklist to include some of China's top artificial intelligence startups.

The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 1.6 per cent, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1.7 per cent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.2 per cent. 

On the Singapore bourse, losers outnumbered gainers 60 to 28, after about 16.9 million shares worth S$39.3 million changed hands.

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Among the most heavily traded by volume, Mapletree Logistics Trust declined 0.6 per cent, or one Singapore cent to S$1.63, with 1.8 million shares traded, while Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was flat at 95 cents, with 1.2 million shares traded. 

Financials also faltered in the early morning trade. DBS lost 0.8 per cent, or 20 cents to S$24.56, OCBC Bank slid 0.4 per cent, or four cents to S$10.64, and United Overseas Bank dropped 0.6 per cent, or 16 cents to S$25.38. 

Other active index stocks included Jardine Matheson Holdings which tumbled almost 1 per cent, or 29 US cents to US$29.41, and CapitaLand Commercial Trust which edged down 1 per cent, or two cents to S$2.06. 

Bucking the downward trend however were ST Engineering which gained 0.5 per cent, or two cents to S$3.94, and ComfortDelGro which was up 0.4 per cent, or one cent to S$2.43.

Elsewhere, Asian equities also hobbled after a fresh flare-up in tensions between US and China threatened to undermine this week's trade talks.

Japan's Topix index dropped 0.7 per cent as at 8.21am, and Australian stocks declined 0.8 per cent.