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Singapore stocks edge down; STI opens 0.1% lower

SINGAPORE shares opened little changed on Monday, with the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) shedding about 0.1 per cent or 1.76 points to 2,488.33 as at 9.05am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 81 to 47, after 58.9 million securities worth S$46.6 million changed hands.

The most active stock by volume was Sembcorp Marine, which moved up by 2.5 per cent or 0.4 Singapore cent to 16.7 cents after 16.7 million shares changed hands as at 9.05am.

Also heavily traded was index counter Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, which advanced 0.5 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to 97.5 cents, with 3.2 million shares changing hands. Meanwhile, Thai Beverage Public Co was flat at S$0.60 after 1.1 million shares traded, while SATS gained 1 per cent or S$0.03 to S$2.94 on 901,100 shares traded.

Singapore banks had a mixed showing in the morning. DBS gained 0.3 per cent or S$0.06 to S$20.57 while UOB was up by 0.3 per cent or S$0.06 to S$19.46. OCBC was trading flat at S$8.58. DBS Group Research said in a report last week that it is possible the dividend cap for the trio could be extended into FY21, given the lower net interest income, relatively soft credit demand and uncertainty over asset quality.

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Other active index counters at Monday's open included Singtel, which fell 0.4 per cent or S$0.01 to S$2.24. Keppel Corp lost 0.2 per cent or S$0.01 to S$4.17, while Wilmar international edged down by 0.5 per cent or S$0.02 to S$4.18.

Healthcare plays Top Glove and Medtecs International enjoyed gains in early trade. Glove manufacturer Top Glove climbed 10.1 per cent or S$0.26 to S$2.84 and was the top traded counter by value, while medical apparel maker Medtecs' shares increased 1.5 per cent or S$0.02 to S$1.32.

In the US, Nasdaq slid while the S&P 500 closed little changed on Friday as early gains in technology and growth names faded. Each of the three major Wall Street averages posted their second straight weekly decline.

European shares ended a choppy trading session higher on Friday, as investors weighed signs of a pick up in merger and acquisition activity against the economic threat from growing prospects of a no-deal Brexit.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday on hopes of economic recovery as Tokyo was added to a government domestic tourism campaign intended to boost an economy hit hard by the coronavirus.

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