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Singapore stocks open lower on Wednesday; STI down 0.4%

SINGAPORE shares opened lower on Wednesday, dragged by weaker starts from index counters. 

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) was down 0.4 per cent or 11.59 points to 2,617.86 as at 9.04am.

Losers outnumbered gainers 64 to 59, after 80.8 million securities worth S$65.8 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Rex International, which rose 1.6 per cent or 0.3 Singapore cent to 19.1 cents with 16.5 million shares changing hands.

Other heavily traded securities include Thai Beverage Public Company, which fell 1.5 per cent or S$0.01 to S$0.65 with four million shares traded, and Singtel, which dipped 0.4 per cent or S$0.01 to S$2.53 on a cum-dividend basis, with 2.3 million shares changing hands. 

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CapitaLand Mall Trust was down 1 per cent or S$0.02 to S$2.00 as at 9.11am. The real estate investment trust posted a 27.7 per cent fall in distribution per unit to 2.11 Singapore cents for its second quarter ended June 30, from 2.92 cents a year ago, the manager said on Wednesday. 

Banking stocks were mixed in early trade. DBS advanced 0.1 per cent or S$0.02 to S$21.42, UOB declined 0.7 per cent or S$0.14 to S$20.56, while OCBC Bank held steady at S$9.21. 

Other active index counters include the Singapore Exchange, which fell 1.2 per cent or S$0.10 to S$8.34, and Wilmar International, which fell 0.7 per cent or S$0.03 to S$4.30. 

In the US, shares of banks and petroleum-linked companies surged on Tuesday, lifting the Dow even as the Nasdaq retreated from its record high the previous session. The Dow ended at 26,840.40, up 0.6 per cent. The S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent to 3,257.30, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.8 per cent to 10,680.36.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday, with investors growing cautious over a higher yen and ahead of a four-day holiday weekend in Japan. The Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 per cent to 22,805.79 in early trade, while the Topix index dropped 0.3 per cent to 1,578.35.

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