Singapore shares decline at Thursday's open; STI down 0.18% to 3,065.65

The Singapore Exchange Centre at Shenton Way. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore stocks opened weaker on Thursday (Oct 18) with the Straits Times Index retreating 0.18 per cent or 5.45 points to 3,065.65 as at 9.02am after overnight declines in US markets.

Losers outnumbered gainers 60 to 37, or about 13 securities down for every eight up, after 41.9 million securities worth $48.0 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Advanced Systems Automation held firm to $0.001 with 10.0 million shares traded. Thai Beverage was flat at $0.645 with 2.9 million shares traded.

Active index stocks included DBS Group Holdings, up 0.2 per cent or $0.06 to $24.55; and Singtel, flat at $24.55.

US stocks saw volatile trading overnight on Wednesday and ended modestly in the red after the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes of the September policy meeting.

"Are the Fed serious when they say they are going to keep hiking? Yes, they are. That's the simple message from the Fed minutes overnight," said Rabo Bank Research, also pointing out that the minutes showed that the Fed talked extensively about trade war.

Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said earnings season will give investors a short-term distraction from worries over trade tensions and global growth, bringing some semblance of stability to financial markets this week.

"Although robust earnings are poised to instil equity bulls with a renewed sense of confidence, the underlying factors weighing on stock markets remain present," he said.

"With US-China trade disputes, concerns over plateauing global growth, Brexit-related uncertainty, geopolitical tensions and prospects of higher US interest rates still in the mix, equity bears have plenty of ammunition."

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