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Trade woes weigh on Singapore shares, down 0.8% on Friday

ESCALATING trade tensions between the US and China saw the Straits Times Index to its second straight weekly decline on Friday. 

The local bourse fell 0.77 per cent or 24.80 points to 3,205.46 amid risk-off sentiment. 

Over one billion shares worth S$870.56 million changed hands. Decliners pipped advancers 213 to 165.

Market sentiment is poised to remain fragile over the next month in the lead-up to the meeting between the two countries' presidents at the G-20 summit in late-June, said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM.

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He added: "Will the world's two largest economies ever find a middle ground on trade or tensions destined to intensify further throughout the year? This is a question nobody has the answer for. And this is why investors are nervous, especially following the spectacular swerve that has occurred over the past two weeks."

Banking stocks finished in the red on Friday, with DBS closing 2.60 per cent lower at S$25.89 on an ex-dividend basis. UOB lost 0.72 per cent to S$24.98, while OCBC fell 0.62 per cent to end at S$11.15. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Genting Singapore pared 1.11 per cent to S$0.89 on a volume of 32.7 million shares. Thai Beverage traded up 1.96 per cent to S$0.78 with 17.4 million shares changing hands.