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Singapore stocks: STI resumes Friday afternoon at 3,115.84, down 0.3% on day

SINGAPORE stocks moved lower on Friday afternoon, with the Straits Times Index declining 0.32 per cent or 9.97 points to 3,115.84 as at 1.02pm, tracking losses in other Asian markets. 

On the Singapore bourse, losers outnumbered gainers 176 to 104, or about five securities down for every three up, after 453.9 million securities worth S$356.1 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, TEE International rose 4.6 per cent or S$0.002 to S$0.046 with 30.7 million shares traded, while Golden Agri-Resources slipped 2.2 per cent or S$0.005 to S$0.225 with 10.4 million shares traded.

Mapletree Commercial Trust shed 3.0 per cent or S$0.07 to S$2.29 with 24.4 million shares traded. The trust had earlier on Friday morning said it is proposing to buy a business park in Pasir Panjang at an agreed property value of S$1.55 billion. If completed, this could count as one of the largest acquisitions by a Singapore real estate investment trust (S-Reit) this year.

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Active index stocks included Singtel, down 0.6 per cent or S$0.02 to S$3.11; Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, down 1.6 per cent or S$0.05 to S$3.13. 

Financials also resumed trading weaker, with DBS Group Holdings dipping 0.04 per cent or S$0.01 to S$24.81; United Overseas Bank down 0.1 per cent or S$0.02 to S$25.63; and OCBC Bank down 0.6 per cent or S$0.06 to S$10.76.

In other Asian markets, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.35 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei slid 1.30 per cent. Hong Kong was down 0.3 per cent while Shanghai was up 0.1 per cent in cautious trading in lieu of a weeklong holiday marking the  70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.4 per cent or 27.8 points at 6,705.4, as of 0257 GMT, while New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed at 10,821.36.

"Markets are now walking on a tightrope, with the fundamental outlook continuing to deteriorate globally," said Margaret Yang, an analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

However, equity market valuations are being elevated by central bank rate cuts and the prospect of renewed quantitative easing, she added. This unbalanced situation renders global equities susceptible to another round of selloff in the event of resurging trade risks, a no-deal Brexit, worsening macro picture or unexpected shocks.