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Singapore shares advance after Wall St rally; STI up 0.52% at Friday’s open

SINGAPORE shares opened higher on Friday, tracking Wall Street gains overnight after US President Donald Trump boosted hopes of an imminent trade deal with China. 

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.52 per cent or 16.5 points to 3,211.17 as at 9.01am. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 95 to 28, after about 58.5 million securities worth S$67.8 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Rex International added 3.9 per cent or 0.7 Singapore cent to 18.6 cents, with 15 million shares traded. Golden Agri-Resources slipped 2.3 per cent, or 0.5 Singapore cent to 21.5 cents, with 4.9 million shares traded.

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All three banking stocks advanced in early trade. DBS gained 1.8 per cent, or 47 cents to S$25.97, United Overseas Bank was up 2.1 per cent, or 54 cents to S$26.38, and OCBC Bank rose 1.3 per cent, or 14 cents to S$10.99. 

Other active index stocks included Venture which was up 2.2 per cent, or 35 cents to S$16.18, and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding which gained 1.8 per cent, or two cents to S$1.11. 

In the US, equities had surged to close at record highs after Mr Trump tweeted about the trade deal shortly after the opening bell on Thursday: "Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!".

The broad-based S&P 500 finished 0.9 per cent higher, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.7 per cent, and the Dow rose 0.8 per cent. 

Elsewhere in Asia, stocks also jumped on renewed optimism that the US and China are inching closer to a phase-one trade deal. 

Japan's Nikkei index climbed 2.1 per cent to a 14-month high on Friday morning, while South Korean stocks firmed 1.2 per cent, Reuters reported.