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Singapore shares open slightly higher by 0.06% on Wednesday

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SINGAPORE shares rose slightly at the start of trading on Wednesday, a departure from other regional markets as political scandals rock the United States.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose by 0.06 per cent, or 1.84 points, to hit 3,220.64 as at 9.02 am on Wednesday.

Some 35.5 million shares worth S$61.2 million changed hands. Gainers beat losers 62 to 47.

Top gainers included counters of City Developments and Bukit Sembawang - both of which are real estate counters - and United Overseas Bank.

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Top losers included counters of Singapore Airlines, and high-tech design and manufacturing firm Venture Corporation.

This comes after the STI closed on Tuesday 27.55 points or 0.85 per cent lower to 3,218.8, and also as major markets in the region registered a slight dip in initial trading on Wednesday. Bloomberg reported that Japan's Topix Index lost 0.3 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.5 per cent and South Korea's Kospi Index was little changed.

Wednesday's market open comes after US President Donald Trump's son revealed overnight e-mails last year between him and a British-born former journalist which showed the Russian government backing his father's presidential campaign and trying to damage main rival Hillary Clinton.

While the direct impact on markets is yet to be felt, investors worry about how these political scandals are delaying Mr Trump's economic agenda. The S&P 500 had tumbled but closed less than 0.1 per cent lower on Tuesday.

Starting today, US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will deliver her semi-annual testimony to Congress over the next two days. She will be sharing her views on the pace of inflation and labour-market tightness.

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