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Singapore shares retreat 0.8% on Monday as new tariffs kick in

Asian markets closed mixed on Monday, as investors grappled with the latest round of tit-for-tat tariffs between the US and China as well as surprisingly positive Chinese factory activity data from a private survey.

Singapore was among the hardest hit, with the Straits Times Index posting a 0.76 per cent or 23.56 point drop to close at 3,082.96. Australia, Japan and Hong Kong all closed about 0.4 per cent lower.

Meanwhile, China was among the winners, as investors focused more on promising corporate earnings and the Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI). The private survey indicated an expansion in Chinese manufacturing activity in August, contrasting with the official data that showed a contraction. Other markets that closed higher were New Zealand and South Korea.

On the Singapore bourse, about 828.6 million securities worth S$641.7 million changed hands on Monday. Losers outnumbered gainers 228 to 149, or about three securities down for every two up.

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Rex International was the most active counter, closing up 0.3 Singapore cent or 3.9 per cent to S$0.08 after 35.9 million shares changed hands. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding retreated 0.5 cent or 0.55 per cent to S$0.905 on a volume of 19.6 million, and Singtel lost three Singapore cents or 0.95 per cent to S$3.14 with 13.5 million shares traded.

GCCP Resources and Astaka Holdings requested for trading halts on Monday morning. No announcements had been made as at market close.