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Singapore shares sink at Thursday's open on trade, recession fears; STI down 0.87% to 3,076.49

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Singapore shares tracked Wednesday night's sharply lower US and Europe markets, with the Straits Times Index sliding 26.96 points or 0.87 per cent to 3,076.49 as at 9.03am on Thursday.

SINGAPORE shares tracked Wednesday night's sharply lower US and Europe markets, after the United States opened a new trade war front with Europe and lacklustre US jobs data exacerbated recession fears.

The Straits Times Index slid 26.96 points or 0.87 per cent to 3,076.49 as at 9.03am on Thursday.

About 52.6 million shares worth S$60.7 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$1.15 per share.

Losers outnumbered gainers 102 to 34.

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Golden-Agri Resources was one of the most active securities, trading flat at S$0.22 after 13.1 million shares changed hands.

Rex International dipped S$0.002 or 2.6 per cent to S$0.076 after 4.3 million shares were traded, while Yangzijiang Shipbuilding shares were down S$0.015 or 1.6 per cent to S$0.925.

Financials tracked the sea of red during market open, with all three local banks losing ground. DBS declined S$0.28 or 1.1 per cent to S$24.49, UOB lost S$0.30 or 1.2 per cent to S$25.18 and OCBC retreated S$0.10 or 0.9 per cent to S$10.67.

Among other index securities, Mapletree Industrial Trust lost S$0.03 or 1.3 per cent to S$2.38, while ST Engineering slid S$0.04 or 1.1 per cent to S$3.77.

Wall Street plunged on Wednesday after payrolls firm ADP estimated the US added 135,000 private-sector jobs in September. The figures were below expectations and came after data on Tuesday showed the weakest manufacturing conditions since the Great Recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 26,078.62, down 1.9 per cent or nearly 500 points, the second day in a row with a loss of more than 1 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.8 per cent to close at 2,887.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.6 per cent to 7,785.25.

European stock markets dived almost 3 per cent to log their worst day since last December as the threat of a transatlantic trade war and dismal economic data added to fears about a faltering global economy.

The US on Wednesday said it would enact 10 per cent tariffs on European-made Airbus planes and 25 per cent duties on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies and cheese from across the continent as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies. The tariffs announced Wednesday were approved by the World Trade Organization but could still cause friction across the Atlantic.

Losses in London were the most dramatic, with the FTSE 100 seeing its worst session in three and a half years after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a final Brexit proposal that dimmed the chances of Britain leaving the European Union with a deal.

Stocks also fell elsewhere in Asia this morning, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropping 0.38 per cent. Japan's Nikkei stock index dropped 1.96 per cent and Australian shares declined 2.19 per cent.