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Singapore shares edge up at Friday's open; STI up 0.6%

SINGAPORE stocks began trading in slightly positive territory on Friday morning, with the Straits Times Index gaining 14.42 points or 0.6 per cent to 2,604.57 as at 9am. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 103 to 20, after about 63.5 million securities worth some S$44 million changed hands. 

Among the index securities, the most heavily traded by volume was Singtel which was flat at S$2.48 with 924,400 shares traded. The telco on Thursday said its prepaid customers can now use Nets ATM bank cards to make digital top-ups and purchase data plans and services directly on their mobile devices.

Meanwhile, Genting Singapore gained one Singapore cent or 1.3 per cent to 76.5 cents, with 709,300 shares traded. 

Banking stocks were up in the early morning trade. DBS gained S$0.15 or 0.7 per cent to S$20.84, UOB added S$0.08 or 0.4 per cent to S$20.35, and OCBC Bank rose S$0.08 or 0.9 per cent to S$9.02. 

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Other active securities included UG Healthcare which was up S$0.04 or 3.8 per cent to S$1.10, while Yoma Strategic lost 0.5 Singapore cent or 1.5 per cent to 32 cents. 

Shares in mainboard-listed Yoma Strategic had surged on Thursday afternoon, after the company on Wednesday said it is eyeing a controlling stake in mobile payments firm Digital Money Myanmar (Wave Money), via a US$76.5 million deal.

Over in the US, financials led Wall Street to its third positive close in four days after a choppy session of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 299.66 points or 1.2 per cent to 25,745.6, the S&P 500 rose 33.43 points or 1.1 per cent to 3,083.76, while the Nasdaq Composite added 107.84 points or 1.1 per cent to 10,017. 

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan's Topix advanced 0.6 per cent as at 9.01am in Tokyo. Australia stocks gained 1 per cent, while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.6 per cent.

Financial markets in China and Taiwan are closed for a public holiday on Friday.

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