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Singapore stocks open lower on Friday; STI down 1.2%

ALL of Singapore's benchmark index constituents were in a sea of red on Friday morning as the wider stock market extended its slide alongside other Asian markets, dragged down by Wall Street's deepest one-day decline since June.

The Straits Times Index (STI) lost 1.2 per cent or 29.03 points to 2,502.76 as at 9.05am. Losers outnumbered gainers 197 to 22, after 104.2 million securities worth S$105.6 million changed hands. 

The worst performer on the index was Venture Corp, which shed 3.5 per cent or S$0.71 to S$19.25 as at 9.49am.

Among the most active counters by volume was Genting Singapore, which lost 0.7 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to 68.5 cents, with 5.2 million shares changing hands as at 9.04am.

Singapore Telecommunications dipped 0.9 per cent or S$0.02 to S$2.27, with 2.8 million shares traded.

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The trio of local banks all sank in early trade. DBS lost 1.5 per cent or S$0.30 to S$20.46. The lender told The Business Times that it is seeing strong growth in its private bank business and is looking to expand further in Thailand and the Philippines, where high net worth families are keen to diversify their exposure and invest in Reits.

UOB shed 1 per cent or S$0.20 to S$19.39, while OCBC Bank dropped 0.9 per cent or S$0.08 to S$8.55.

Other active index counters include Wilmar International, which lost 1.6 per cent or S$0.07 to S$4.38. Singapore Airlines shed 1.4 per cent or S$0.05 to S$3.63, while Keppel Corp fell 1.8 per cent or S$0.08 to S$4.40.

In the US, Wall Street's main indices closed sharply lower on Thursday as investors dumped the high-flying technology sector, while economic data highlighted concerns about a long and difficult recovery.

European shares retreated on Thursday with technology stocks leading losses in tandem with their US peers, while a swathe of middling local economic data fuelled bets on continued easy monetary policy.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday as investors sought to lock in profits from recent rallies after US shares retreated.

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