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Singapore shares edge up at Wednesday's open; STI up 0.1%

SINGAPORE stocks inched up on Wednesday, buoyed slightly by news of the Republic's gradual reopening of businesses and a new aid package on the way from the government.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.1 per cent or 1.76 points to 2,583.09 as at 9.03am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 65 to 62, after 56.9 million securities worth S$72.8 million changed hands.

One of the most active counters by volume was Thai Beverage Public Company, which held steady at S$0.66 with 4.4 million shares traded. Oxley Holdings gained 4.4 per cent or one Singapore cent to 23.5 cents with 3.4 million shares traded, after the property developer disclosed on Tuesday that Oxley Beryl has entered into an expression of interest to sell Chevron House's retail and banking units for S$315 million. 

Another heavily traded counter was ESR-Reit, which remained unchanged at S$0.37 with 2.8 million units traded. 

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Banking stocks rose in early morning trade. DBS was trading up 0.2 per cent or S$0.03 at S$19.64. UOB advanced 0.3 per cent or S$0.06 to S$19.90 on a cum-dividend basis, while OCBC rose 0.3 per cent or S$0.03 to S$9.03 on a cum-dividend basis.

Other active index counters included Jardine Matheson Holdings, which rose 0.1 per cent or US$0.06 to US$43.95, and Singapore Airlines, which fell 2.2 per cent or S$0.08 to S$3.62. 

In the US, Wall Street ended lower on Tuesday amid warnings from top US economic officials that the economy faces continued risks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.6 per cent to 24,206.86, the S&P 500 dropped 1.1 per cent to 2,922.94, while the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.5 per cent to 9,185.10.

European shares also ended down on Tuesday, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 closing 0.6 per cent lower.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 per cent to 20,488.10 in early trade, while the broader Topix index dipped 0.02 per cent to 1,485.75. This was following three days of rallies and after US shares retreated on warnings about lingering economic risks from the novel coronavirus.

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