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Singapore shares climb at Thursday's open after Fed rate cut; STI up 0.33% to 3,218.47

SINGAPORE shares advanced on Thursday morning, tracking a positive US market buoyed by the latest Federal Reserve interest rates cut. The Straits Times Index gained 10.55 points or 0.33 per cent to 3,218.47 as at 9.04am.

About 54.4 million shares worth about S$153.5 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$2.82 per share.

Gainers outnumbered losers 80 to 44.

The most actively traded security was Singtel, up S$0.03 or 0.9 per cent at S$3.29 with 5.8 million shares changing hands. Other actives included ComfortDelGro and Spackman Entertainment.

Among financials, all three local banks gained ground with DBS advancing S$0.21 or 0.8 per cent to S$25.90, OCBC shares gaining S$0.04 or 0.4 per cent to S$10.94 and UOB up S$0.14 or 0.5 per cent to S$26.74.

Among other index stocks, ST Engineering was up S$0.03 or 0.8 per cent to S$3.94. Singapore Airlines advanced S$0.02 or 0.2 per cent to S$9.26 following news of its wide-ranging partnership with Malaysia Airlines.

The S&P 500 finished at a record on Wednesday after the Fed cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.5 per cent to 1.75 per cent. It also signalled it expects to hold off on further rate changes for now.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to 3,046.77, scoring its second record in three days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4 per cent to 27,186.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.3 per cent to 8,303.98.

The Fed's action marked its third straight interest rate cut. Fed chairman Jerome Powell said trade wars and Brexit uncertainty had weighed on business investment but that the US economy had stayed "resilient".

European shares eked out gains on Wednesday, buoyed by upbeat results from L'Oreal which defied Chinese slowdown fears, although weak earnings from some of the bloc's biggest lenders such as Deutsche Bank and Santander kept a lid on gains.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.1 per cent, with a 1.5 per cent rise in the personal & household goods sector leading gains.

In Tokyo, stocks opened higher with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index up 0.51 per cent or 115.93 points at 22,959.05 in early trade, and the broader Topix index up 0.09 per cent or 1.46 points at 1,667.36.

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