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Singapore shares open slightly lower on Thursday; STI down 0.12% to 3,258.76

SINGAPORE shares started Thursday slightly lower following a flat US market trading session and a lack of further progress in US-China trade talks. The Straits Times Index lost 3.93 points or 0.12 per cent to 3,258.76 as at 9.04am.

About 81.1 million shares worth about S$88.4 million changed hands.

Gainers outnumbered losers 75 to 40.

Rex International continued to see heavy trading, up S$0.003 or 2.1 per cent to S$0.144 after 9.2 million shares changed hands.

Water treatment company Citic Envirotech's shares jumped S$0.165 or 44.6 per cent to S$0.535 following news that its majority owner plans to take it private in a deal that would value it at S$1.34 billion.

Ascendas Reit was up S$0.01 or 0.3 per cent to S$3.13 while AEM, which provides advanced chip testing solutions, was up S$0.05 or 2.8 per cent to S$1.81.

Low trading volumes among financials saw UOB being the only lender in the green, edging up S$0.01 or 0.04 per cent to S$26.89, while DBS was down S$0.01 or 0.04 per cent to S$26.39, and OCBC dipped S$0.01 or 0.1 per cent to S$11.09.

Wall Street stocks were under pressure on Wednesday as investors awaited concrete progress on US-China trade talks while petroleum-linked shares fell with oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished essentially flat at 27,492.56. The broad-based S&P 500 edged up 0.1 per cent at 3,076.78, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.3 per cent at 8,410.63.

European stocks scaled a fresh four-year peak driven by a surge in shares of consumer-focused companies that helped offset declines in autos and miners.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.2 per cent higher and was about 2 per cent away from reclaiming its record high level, hit last in April 2015.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan opened slightly lower with its benchmark Nikkei 225 index down 0.07 per cent or 15.86 points at 23,287.96 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.04 per cent or 0.60 points at 1,693.85.

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