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Singapore stocks: STI resumes Monday afternoon down 0.7% at 3,341.22

THE Singapore benchmark, like most of its regional peers, entered the afternoon session trading lower during a week where the US Federal Reserve is expected to announce a rate cut and US and Chinese officials are scheduled to meet for trade talks in Shanghai.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) was trading at 3,341.22, down 22.54 points or 0.7 per cent, as at 1.05pm on Monday.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, stocks fell in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea. Australia bucked the trend, adding 0.5 per cent.

On the early session in Asia, Vanguard Markets managing partner Stephen Innes noted: "Markets are on the downhill slide of what's likely to be a rollercoaster ride for equity markets this week."

He added that market performance thus far suggests that traders are "expecting little if any progress from this week’s trade talks while the civil unrest in Hong Kong is factoring quite negatively into the overall risk equation".

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Shortly after the afternoon session commenced, volume on the Singapore bourse clocked in at 677.1 million securities traded and a total turnover of S$380.1 million.

Across the market, decliners outpaced advancers 193 to 138. The benchmark index had 29 of the STI's 30 components trading in the red.

Thai Beverage, down 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.6 per cent lower to 83 cents, was the benchmark index's most traded stock with 8.9 million shares changing hands.

The local banks returned from the weekend lower.

DBS Group Holdings, which posted Q2 earnings that beat street expectations before Monday trading commenced, was S$0.18 or 0.7 per cent lower at S$26.70. DBS shares opened higher before investors booked profits following a positive results showing, where second quarter net profit before one-time items rose 17 per cent to S$1.6 billion from S$1.37 billion a year ago.

The growth in bottomline was attributed to higher total income as business momentum from the first quarter was sustained into April-June period.

Meanwhile, OCBC Bank slipped S$0.08 or 0.7 per cent to S$11.68 and United Overseas Bank traded at S$26.69, down S$0.24 or 0.9 per cent. Both banks will be reporting earnings for the second quarter on Friday.

Among real estate investment trusts (Reits), Mapletree Logistics Trust, which traded ex-dividend on Monday, dropped S$0.05 or 3.1 per cent down at S$1.56.

While most Reits were down, Suntec Reit units advanced one Singapore cent or 0.5 per cent to S$1.93 following a number of upgrades by research houses including OCBC Investment Research and RHB Research Institute. Analysts are expecting an earnings turnaround due to positive rental reversions, which are likely to be sustained in coming quarters.

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