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Singapore shares extend losses on Friday, end 1.5% lower on the week

ANOTHER week of trading, another rollercoaster ride for market sentiment.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) ended the week at 3,078.36, dipping 9.61 points or 0.3 per cent. The blue-chip index shaved off 47.27 points or 1.5 per cent from last Friday's close of 3,125.63.

October's first week got off to a bright start with encouraging Chinese manufacturing data and Washington pushing back on reports it plans to implement capital controls on China. But it all changed by mid-week, with three consecutive days of disappointing US economic data for September, which called into question the resilience of the world's largest economy. 

US President Donald Trump's impeachment saga and the opening of a new front to the trade war between the US and the European Union added salt to the wounds of bruised investors, hoping for global trade skirmishes to go away. The upside, if any, is the mounting expectation that the US Federal Reserve will lower rates this month.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, markets were similarly affected by the waning global outlook, with Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea all ending with losses. The Hang Seng made a sharp downturn in the afternoon after Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam invoked emergency powers for the first time in over 50 years to ban face masks for protesters.

Markets in China remain closed and will only return to trading on Oct 8 after week-long Golden Week celebrations.

In Singapore, trading volume clocked in at 1.01 billion securities, 84 per cent of the daily average in the first eight months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$799.97 million, 74 per cent of the January-to-August daily average.

Across the market, decliners beat advancers 209 to 162. The blue-chip index had 17 of its 30 counters closing in the red.

Golden Agri-Resources was the STI's most active counter with 28.7 million shares traded. The agri business player added 0.5 Singapore cent or 2.3 per cent to 22 cents.

The local banks ended lower. DBS Group Holdings edged down two Singapore cents or 0.1 per cent to S$24.55, OCBC Bank dropped nine Singapore cents or 0.8 per cent to S$10.62 while United Overseas Bank closed at S$25.17, S$0.16 or 0.6 per cent lower.

Among second-liner counters, The Trendlines Group added 0.3 Singapore cent or 3.3 per cent to close at 9.5 cents. In response to a Singapore Exchange query on why it proposed a rights issue at a 19.3 per cent premium from its Sept 26 closing price of 8.8 Singapore cents, the Catalist-listed startup incubator said that its current market price "does not properly reflect the company's value".

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