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Singapore shares advance on Tuesday’s open on mixed global markets; STI up 0.25% to 3,131.31

SINGAPORE stocks opened stronger on Tuesday, with the Straits Times Index heading up 0.25 per cent, or 7.85 points, to 3,131.31 as at 9.01am, while the rest of the global markets moved in different directions.

On the Singapore bourse, gainers outnumbered losers 49 to 26, or about two securities up for every one down, after 34.16 million securities worth S$59.06 million changed hands.

The most heavily traded by volume was JCG Investment, which held firm at 0.2 Singapore cent with 15 million shares traded. This was followed by Singtel which rose two cents or 0.63 per cent to S$3.21 on a cum-dividend basis with 3.6 million shares changing hands, and Rex International which inched up 0.1 Singapore cent or 1.64 per cent to S$0.062 with 2.1 million shares traded.

Other active stocks included City Developments Limited, which increased one Singapore cent or 0.12 per cent to S$8.27, and Jardine Matheson Holdings, which surged US$1 or 1.54 per cent to US$66.10 at Tuesday’s open.

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Banking counters also rose in the early morning trade with DBS gaining nine Singapore cents or 0.37 per cent to S$24.15; UOB up 13 cents or 0.55 per cent to S$23.72; and OCBC up four cents or 0.38 per cent to S$10.63.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) increased one Singapore cent or 0.43 per cent to S$2.32, after it announced on Monday night that its unit Straits Capital Trust had taken out a £205 million (S$354.7 million) loan.

Wilmar International also moved up one Singapore cent or 0.3 per cent to S$3.33, following its bourse filing on Monday that its unit Yihai Kerry Arawana Holdings plans to form a joint venture to manufacture and distribute yeast and bakery ingredients in China.

Elsewhere in Asia, regional markets were mixed. Tokyo stocks opened slightly higher on Tuesday on bargain-hunting purchases after a four-day losing streak, but trade remained cautious over a higher yen and concern about the global economy. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.08 per cent or 17.19 points at 20,428.07 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.02 per cent or 0.33 points at 1,499.29.

Meanwhile, Malaysia shares opened lower on Tuesday, with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index down 1.29 points to 1,654.02 at 9am.

In the US, the Nasdaq plunged on Monday’s close as tech giants Alphabet/Google, Facebook and Amazon suffered bruising losses on reports that US antitrust officials are stepping up oversight of Big Tech. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of less than 0.1 per cent to finish at 24,819.78, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.3 per cent to settle at 2,744.45.

On the other hand, European shares ended Monday higher as gains in healthcare stocks helped head off weakness in trade-sensitive sectors like technology after the latest twist in the US-China trade war. China will reportedly investigate whether FedEx Corp damaged its clients' legal rights and interests after Chinese telecoms giant Huawei said parcels intended for it were diverted.