Singapore stocks open higher on Friday, tracking Wall Street gains; STI up 0.3%

SINGAPORE stocks opened higher on Friday, tracking Wall Street gains, after a week-long low in early trade.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose by 0.3 per cent or 10.43 points to 3,152.14 as at 9am. Gainers outnumbered losers 89 to 29 after 42.4 million securities worth S$43.9 million changed hands.

Spackman Entertainment Group led the day with 4.2 million shares worth S$30,000 changing hands within the minute. The counter rose 20 per cent or 0.1 Singapore cent to 0.6 cent.

Matex International followed closely behind with another 4.2 million shares worth S$140,000 traded as at 9.01am. The counter rose 9.4 per cent or 0.3 Singapore cent to 3.5 cents.

Among the index counters, Singtel was the top gainer, rising 1.3 per cent or S$0.03 to S$2.40 as at 9.03am. Meanwhile Yangzijiang Shipbuilding fell 0.8 per cent or S$0.01 to S$1.25, making it the top loser.

The trio of local banks were up in early trade for the second session in a row. As at 9.03am, DBS rose 0.5 per cent or S$0.15 to S$28.65, UOB gained 0.2 per cent or S$0.06 to S$25.91, while OCBC added 0.6 per cent or S$0.07 to S$11.69.

Over on Wall Street, major indices ended higher on Thursday, after two days of losses and a volatile session that saw them go into the red before rebounding. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent at the close to 3,909.52, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.1 per cent to 12,977.68, while the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.6 per cent at 32,619.48.

European stocks ended lower on Thursday as fears over extended coronavirus restrictions in the eurozone sparked a flight from energy and financial stocks to firms seen as safer during heightened economic uncertainty. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.3 per cent, weighed down by a drop in oil and gas stocks on the back of weaker crude prices, and bank stocks as bond yields declined.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index opened higher on Friday as investors cheered US President Joe Biden's pledge to boost vaccination efforts. The Nikkei 225 added 1.18 per cent, or 338.40 points, to 29,068.28 in early trade, while the broader Topix index rose 1.01 per cent, or 19.81 points, to 1,975.36.

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