Singapore shares open weaker; STI down 0.52% to 3,146.95 on Thursday

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

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares on Thursday morning (May 30) continued its downward trend this week, in line with negative global market sentiments, with the Straits Times Index opening down 16.33 points or 0.52 per cent to 3,146.95 as at 9.05am.

About 42.7 million shares worth $83.1 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of $1.95 per share.

Losers outnumbered gainers 66 to 29.

The most actively traded security was RHT Health Trust, which traded unchanged at $0.02 with 5.6 million shares changing hands. Other actives included watch-listed stock Nico Steel and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding.

Among financials, DBS Group Holdings declined $0.18 or 0.7 per cent to $24.67; OCBC Bank shares lost $0.08 or 0.7 per cent at $10.81, and United Overseas Bank slipped $0.09 or 0.4 per cent to $24.02.

Among other index stocks, Singtel was trading flat at $3.18 with about 4.3 million shares changing hands. Meanwhile, Ascendas Reit units traded down two cents or 0.7 per cent at $2.94.

US and Europe investors continued to feel the pain with major trade indices falling overnight as US-China trade tensions continued to simmer.

China theatened to squeeze its supply of rare earth elements to the US, the latest salvo in the game of brinksmanship between the two major powers.

The S&P 500 index lost 0.7 per cent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.9 per cent to 25,126.41, its lowest level in almost four months.

Europe's Stoxx 600 index tumbled 1.4 per cent to a more than three-month closing low.

"Certainly, the initial scan into the usage of rare-earth metals in the US has yielded a lengthy list of products within the likes of the defence and technology sectors, but it is also the potential for further escalation that has induced the wave of safe haven search this week," said IG market strategist Jingyi Pan.

"Most importantly, one would have noted that the de-risking has led to the comprehensive S&P 500 index giving up on the 2800 support level, opening further downsides."

Other Asian indexes in Japan and Australia also slid in morning trading sessions.