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Singapore shares continue to post gains, STI adds 0.5% on Thursday

Investor confidence continued to recover on Thursday, after China said both Washington and Beijing will hold trade talks next month. The improvement in relations between the two comes a day after Hong Kong scrapped the much maligned extradition bill, a boon for market sentiment.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) added 16.49 points or 0.5 per cent to finish at 3,147.06.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, Australia, China, Japan and South Korea were higher.

On the other hand, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index followed Wednesday's 3.9 per cent surge by closing flat, as investors took to profit taking. The territory's bourse operator had to suspend trading in its derivatives market for the Thursday afternoon and after-hours sessions due to connectivity issues. Malaysia was also flat.

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In Singapore, trading volume clocked in at 738.13 million securities, 62 per cent of the daily average in the first seven months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$1.02 billion, 96 per cent of the January-to-July daily average.

Across the market, advancers edged out decliners 191 to 190. The blue-chip index had seven of the 30 counters in the red.

On STI counter activity, it was pretty much the same story. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, which advanced 2.5 Singapore cents or 2.7 per cent to end at 96.5 Singapore cents, kept its spot as the most active listing with 63.6 million shares changing hands.

The Chinese shipbuilder said on Wednesday after market close that it has inked new order contracts for five vessels.

The banking trio was higher. DBS Group Holdings added S$0.09 or 0.4 per cent to S$24.63; OCBC Bank was S$0.06 or 0.6 per cent up at S$10.77 and United Overseas Bank ended at S$25.26, up S$0.16 or 0.6 per cent.

Among Reits, Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) edged up one Singapore cent or 0.3 per cent to S$2.85. The Reit will be included in the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Real Estate Index from Sept 23. The index tracks the performance of listed real estate companies and Reits worldwide.