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Singapore shares edge higher on Wednesday; STI up 0.04%

SINGAPORE shares opened slightly higher on Wednesday, with the Straits Times Index gaining 0.04 per cent, or 1.36 points to 3,164.25 as at 9.01am.

Advancers edged out decliners 48 to 46, after about 26.1 million shares worth S$42.3 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Nam Cheong was flat at 0.8 Singapore cent, with 4.1 million shares traded, while Singtel rose 0.6 per cent, or two cents to S$3.37, with 3.9 million shares traded, on a cum-dividend basis. 

Malaysian offshore vessel builder Nam Cheong on Tuesday said it has bagged chartering contracts for three offshore support vessels worth RM54.8 million (S$17.9 million), inclusive of options to extend.

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Meanwhile, banking stocks were in the green in the early morning trade. DBS gained 0.04 per cent, or one cent to S$24.96, United Overseas Bank added 0.5 per cent, or 12 cents to S$25.43, and OCBC Bank was up 0.4 per cent, or four cents to S$10.66. 

Other active index stocks included Dairy Farm, which fell 1.4 per cent, or eight US cents to US$5.82. 

Wilmar International gained 1 per cent, or four cents to S$4.16, and ComfortDelGro advanced 0.8 per cent, or two cents to S$2.41. 

Over in the US, Wall Street stocks ended modestly lower for a second straight session overnight, as US-China trade talks approached a weekend deadline with little sign of progress. All three main indices slipped 0.1 per cent each. 

Elsewhere in Asia, equities flatlined as investors were cautious amid conflicting signals on trade talks between the world's two largest economies. 

Japan's Topix fell 0.2 per cent as at 8.55am, and South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.1 per cent, while Australian stocks rose 0.2 per cent, data from Bloomberg shows.