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Singapore shares edge higher on Wednesday ahead of Fed; STI up 0.14% to 3,187.46

SINGAPORE shares edged higher on Wednesday after late gains in the US market last night and as investors await a Federal Reserve rate decision. The Straits Times Index gained 4.46 points or 0.14 per cent to 3,187.46 as at 9.03am.

About 34 million shares worth about S$53.4 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$1.57 per share.

Gainers outnumbered losers 52 to 44.

The most actively traded security was Rex International, which was down S$0.004 or 4.3 per cent to S$0.089 after 7.1 million shares changed hands.

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Mapletree Industrial Trust saw heavy trading following the close of its oversubscribed private placement round, in which it raised S$400 million. It was up S$0.08 or 3.4 per cent to S$2.41 with 4 million units traded.

Keppel DC Reit units continued to rally following its Tuesday hot streak, where it gained 8 per cent on news that it had raised S$478.2 million to partially fund a proposed acquisition. The Reit was up S$0.03 or 1.6 per cent to S$1.96 after 2.1 million units were traded.

Among financials, DBS dipped S$0.13 or 0.5 per cent to S$25.17, OCBC was down S$0.02 or 0.2 per cent to S$11.01 and UOB edged up up S$0.01 or 0.04 per cent to S$26.26.

Wall Street entered positive territory late Tuesday after a largely flat trading day, with markets awaiting an interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 per cent to 27,110.80. The broader S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent, settling at 3,005.70 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.4 per cent to close at 8,186.02.

European stocks however closed marginally lower on Tuesday as energy shares gave up a chunk of Monday's big gains and banks lost steam ahead of a likely interest rate cut from the US Federal Reserve.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended about 0.1 per cent lower as investors sought refuge in defensive sectors such as consumer staples and healthcare after the weekend's attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities heightened geopolitical tensions.

The oil and gas sector dropped 0.8 per cent after Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia's oil output will be fully restored quicker than expected, taking two or three weeks not months as initial indications suggested, according to sources.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower as investors watched for the US Federal Reserve's decision later in the day, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index down 0.05 per cent or 10.19 points at 21,991.13 in early trade.