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Singapore stocks drop following Wall Street decline; STI down 0.3% at open

SINGAPORE shares pulled back at Tuesday's open, following a negative lead from Wall Street overnight.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) slipped 8.70 points or 0.3 per cent to 2,975.20 as at 9am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 73 to 45, after 24.7 million securities worth S$24.5 million changed hands.

Among the index stocks, the most heavily traded by volume was Genting Singapore, which gained S$0.01 or 1.2 per cent to S$0.87, with 585,000 shares traded.

Meanwhile, Singtel dipped S$0.01 or 0.4 per cent to S$2.49, with some 570,000 shares changing hands.

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The trio of local lenders were down in early trade. DBS retreated S$0.13 or 0.5 per cent to S$26.79, UOB shed S$0.24 or 1 per cent to S$23.55, while OCBC slipped S$0.08 or 0.8 per cent to S$10.52.

Other active counters include mainboard-listed contract manufacturer CEI, which jumped S$0.15 or 15 per cent to S$1.15. This comes after electronics services provider AEM Holdings on Monday launched a S$99.7 million bid to take CEI private. AEM shares were trading at S$3.69 on Tuesday morning, up S$0.02 or 0.6 per cent.

Over on Wall Street, US equities on Monday retreated from records set last week, as investors took some profits and Democrats ramped up efforts to impeach President Donald Trump.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.3 per cent lower at 31,008.69, the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.7 per cent to 3,799.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.2 per cent to end at 13,036.43.

Said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi: "Unfortunately, investors have found themselves sitting under one of the darkest clouds of US political angst hanging ominously over Donald Trump's final days...

"Let's hope I'm wrong, but near-term equity direction is likely to be choppy, held hostage to this very same political angst."

European stocks also fell on Monday, as surging Covid-19 cases across the continent and mainland China looked likely to dent a global economic recovery. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index lost 0.7 per cent, after a strong rally last week pushed shares near a 10-month high.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street declines and as rising coronavirus cases in the country weighed on sentiment. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.6 per cent or 171.23 points at 27,967.80 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.4 per cent or 7.82 points to 1,847.12.

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