Singapore shares decline at Friday's open, STI down 0.1% to 3,227.99

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Singapore stocks opened slightly weaker on Friday (May 17), with the Straits Times Index inching down 0.07 per cent or 2.27 points to 3,227.99 as at 9.02am.

This came despite US stocks notching a third straight session of gains overnight, following solid economic data.

On the Singapore bourse, gainers outnumbered losers 52 to 38, after about 22.7 million securities worth $48.7 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Singtel was trading flat at $3.14 on a cum-dividend basis with 2.2 million shares traded, while Genting Singapore fell 0.5 cent, or 0.6 per cent, to $0.895 with 1.9 million shares traded.

Other active stocks included ST Engineering which fell 1.5 per cent or six cents to $3.94, and Frasers Centrepoint Trust which lost 2 per cen, or five cents to $2.40 on a cum-dividend basis.

Singapore Airlines also dropped 1.2 per cent, or 11 cents, to $9.29. This comes after the national carrier on Thursday posted a 28 per cent fall in fourth-quarter net profit to $202.6 million, on the back of lower operating profit and higher non-operating costs related to SilkAir's refleeting and restructuring.

Over in New York, the gains came after US data showed better-than-expected housing construction, and a dip in US jobless claims, contributing to positive investor sentiment. The Dow added 0.8 per cent, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.0 per cent.

Similarly, the broad-based S&P 500 closed 0.9 per cent higher, though it pulled back from an intraday gain of as much as 1.4 per cent. Combined with the moves since Tuesday, the benchmark index has managed to recoup most of its 2.4 per cent tumble at the start of the week - its biggest one-day drop since January.

Elsewhere, Asian stocks climbed in the early trade on Friday, taking cues from the Wall Street rally, as concerns over the US-China trade war receded slightly.

Japan's Topix rose 0.6 per cent as of 9.07am in Tokyo, South Korea's Kospi gained 0.3 per cent, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.6 per cent.