Singapore stocks muted tracking weak Asia; US govt shutdown weighs

A trader looks at electronic screens on the dealing floor at DBS Bank's new headquarters in Singapore. REUTERS

Singapore shares were little changed on Monday as gains in industrials were offset by weakness in financial and consumer discretionary stocks.

Asian shares declined after the US government shut down extended to a third day amid a dispute between President Donald Trump and Democrats over immigration.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.2 percent while Japan's Nikkei was down 0.1 percent. U.S. S&P500 mini futures dipped 0.15 percent in early trade, Reuters data showed.

At 0530 GMT, the Straits Times Index was up 0.13 percent or 4 points to 3,554. It ended 0.82 percent higher on Friday, taking the year-to-date gains to about 4 percent.

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The city-state's top lenders Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp lost 0.6 percent, United Overseas Bank declined 0.7 percent but DBS Group Holdings rose 0.1 percent.

Active stocks included, Sembcorp Marine climbing 4.3 percent to S$2.4 while Mermaid Maritime gained 4 percent to S$0.15 in afternoon trades. Index heavyweight Jardine Matheson Holdings
rose as much as 3.1 percent.

Shares in Sembcorp Marine extended last week's rally following an upgrade by Nomura.

Singapore Exchange shares gained as much as 2.8 percent to S$8.20 after the bourse operator on Friday said it would allow companies with dual-class share structures to have their primary listing on the SGX.

About 739 million shares worth S$692 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 209 to 142.

This article was first published on January 22, 2018