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Singapore stocks sink amid global rout; STI opens 1.4% lower

SINGAPORE shares tumbled in the early trade on Thursday tracking a Wall Street rout overnight, with the Straits Times Index (STI) losing 39.19 points or 1.4 per cent to 2,744.53 as at 9.01am. 

Losers outnumbered gainers 148 to 19, after about 47.2 million securities worth S$73.7 million changed hands. 

The benchmark STI sank further to 2,704.42, plummeting 79.3 points or 2.9 per cent as at 9.36am.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Medtecs International gained 0.8 Singapore cent or 10.3 per cent to 8.6 cents, with 6.6 million shares traded, whereas Rex International slipped 0.3 Singapore cent or 2.2 per cent to 13.4 cents, with 4.6 million shares traded. 

The trio of banking stocks were down in the early session of trading. DBS shed S$0.41 or 2 per cent to S$20.60, United Overseas Bank slipped S$0.40 or 1.9 per cent to S$20.97, while OCBC fell S$0.14 or 1.5 per cent to S$9.36. 

OCBC Bank on Thursday confirmed that one of its staff was diagnosed on Tuesday with the novel coronavirus

Amid a sea of red on Thursday morning, CapitaLand shed S$0.12 or 3.6 per cent to S$3.25, while Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust (FLT) plunged S$0.04 or 3.3 per cent to S$1.19. 

Unitholders of both FLT and Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT) have voted overwhelmingly to approve a proposed merger, the managers of both trusts said on Wednesday.

Separately, Singapore Exchange declined S$0.22 or 2.5 per cent to S$8.63.

Over in the US, equities sank overnight, pushing the Dow into a bear market after the World Health Organization called the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic for the first time. 

The Dow plunged about 1,465 points or 5.9 per cent to 23,553.22, while the broad-based S&P 500 slumped 4.9 per cent to 2,741.38 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 4.7 per cent to 7,952.05.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan’s Topix fell 1.8 per cent as at 8.02am, South Korea’s Kospi tumbled 0.9 per cent and Australia stocks sank 2.7 per cent.