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Singapore shares edge up at Thursday's open; STI up 0.2%

SINGAPORE shares opened higher on Thursday tracking Wall Street stocks overnight, with the benchmark Straits Times Index gaining 6.83 points or 0.2 per cent to 3,220.54 as at 9.01am. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 80 to 27, after about 41.7 million securities worth S$58 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Keppel Reit gained S$0.01 or 0.8 per cent to S$1.29, with 5.5 million units traded, while ESR-Reit was up 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.9 per cent to 55 Singapore cents, with 4.5 million units traded. 

The trio of banks were mixed in the early morning session. DBS gained S$0.04 or 0.2 per cent to S$25.35 on a cum-dividend basis, United Overseas Bank shed S$0.05 or 0.2 per cent to S$26, while OCBC Bank added S$0.05 or 0.5 per cent to S$11.14. 

Other active securities included ComfortDelGro, which advanced S$0.02 or 1 per cent to S$2.08 on a cum-dividend basis, and Keppel Infrastructure Trust which rose 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.9 per cent to 54.5 Singapore cents. 

Over in the US, equities rose overnight after China pledged to support local businesses struggling due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4 per cent to finish at 29,348.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq jumped 0.9 per cent to 9,817.18, and the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent to 3,386.15 by the closing bell.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, markets rallied on Thursday morning on expectations of more Chinese stimulus to cushion the impact of the virus spread. Japan's Topix rose 1.1 per cent as at 8.10am, and South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.6 per cent, while Australian stocks gained 0.4 per cent.