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Singapore shares open lower tracking US rout; STI down 0.7%

SINGAPORE shares fell on Friday morning following a bruising session of losses in the US markets overnight.

The Straits Times Index dropped below the 3,000-point mark, sliding 21.1 points or 0.7 per cent to 2,997.17 as at 9.03am.

Losers outnumbered gainers 107 to 43, after 60.8 million securities worth S$128.3 million changed hands.

Singtel was the most traded counter by volume, down S$0.02 or 0.7 per cent to S$2.97 after 5.9 million shares were traded.

Other active heavyweights included Yangzijiang Shipbuilding which rose S$0.01 or 1.2 per cent to S$0.87 with 4.1 million shares changing hands, and Thai Beverage which fell S$0.01 or 1.3 per cent to S$0.79 on 3.6 million shares traded. 

Meanwhile, Ascendas Reit lost S$0.03 or 0.9 per cent to S$3.42.

All three banks lost ground in early trade. DBS slid S$0.35 or 1.5 per cent to S$23.25, OCBC fell S$0.03 or 0.3 per cent to S$10.39 while UOB was down S$0.23 or 1 per cent to S$23.51.

In the US, Wall Street stocks suffered another bruising rout on Thursday, led by airlines and other travel-oriented shares, resuming their downward trend amid fears the coronavirus will plunge the country into recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down around 970 points or 3.6 per cent at 26,121.28. The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 3.4 per cent to 3,024.94, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 3.1 per cent to 8,738.60.

European shares snapped a three-day gaining streak over similar Covid-19 economic concerns.

The main European equity benchmark ended 1.4 per cent lower after the death toll from the virus outbreak rose to more than 3,300, with several more companies providing profit warnings because of disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

Tokyo stocks also opened lower on Friday as the benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 1.5 per cent or 313.23 points to 21,015.89 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 1.6 per cent or 24.30 points at 1,491.41.