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Singapore shares edge up on Friday; STI up 0.23%

SINGAPORE shares tracked Wall Street overnight to open stronger on Friday, with the Straits Times Index rising 0.23 per cent, or 7.53 points to 3,214.95 as at 9.01am. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 67 to 27, after about 33.9 million shares worth S$30.9 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Rex International gained 3.2 per cent, or 0.6 Singapore cent to 19.2 cents with 17.2 million shares traded, while Yangzijiang Shipbuilding slipped 0.9 per cent, or one Singapore cent to S$1.07, with 4.7 million shares traded. 

Rex on Friday announced that its unit is proposing to issue US$4.5 million of preference shares priced at US$477.70 apiece to Trace Atlantic Oil, in a bid to fund its drilling activities and operations in Oman.

Meanwhile, banking stocks held steady in the early morning trade. DBS was up 0.2 per cent, or five Singapore cents to S$25.99, United Overseas Bank was flat at S$26.60, and OCBC Bank gained 0.1 per cent, or one Singapore cent to S$10.96. 

Other active index stocks included UOL Group which rose 1.4 per cent, or 11 Singapore cents to S$8.23, and CapitaLand Mall Trust which gained 1.3 per cent, or three Singapore cents to S$2.44.

Over in the US, stocks climbed to record highs as investors brushed off the impeachment of US President Donald Trump, and focused instead on the easing of tensions with China. Both the Dow and the broad-based S&P 500 finished with a 0.5 per cent gain each, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.7 per cent.

Elsewhere, Asian equities were mixed as trading thinned in the run-up to Christmas. 

Japan's Topix fell 0.1 per cent, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.3 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index contracts advanced 0.3 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.2 per cent, according to Bloomberg data.