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Singapore shares fall at Friday's open; STI down 0.4%

SINGAPORE stocks opened weaker on Friday amid mixed openings from local banks and other index counters, as more companies share their third quarter business updates.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) headed down 0.4 per cent or 10.83 points to 2,577.79 as at 9.04am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 88 to 61, after 86.9 million securities worth S$76.2 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Jiutian Chemical, which held steady at 11.8 Singapore cents with 29.3 million shares traded.

Other heavily traded securities included Sembcorp Marine, which fell 0.8 per cent or 0.1 Singapore cent to 12.4 cents, with 4.8 million shares traded, as well as UG Healthcare, which rose 2 per cent or S$0.02 to S$1 with 3.3 million shares traded.

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The glove manufacturer on Thursday posted a net profit of S$22.7 million for the first fiscal quarter ended September which was 74 times that of the S$305,000 in net profit posted a year ago.

Banking stocks were mixed in early morning trade. DBS remained unchanged at S$22.43, UOB advanced 0.4 per cent or S$0.08 to S$20.52, while OCBC dropped 0.3 per cent or S$0.03 to S$8.90.

Other active index counters included Singtel, which fell 0.9 per cent or S$0.02 to S$2.17, and Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust which declined 1.3 per cent or S$0.04 to S$3.17.

In the US, stocks rose for a fourth straight session on Thursday on continued positive momentum after the US election despite no closure yet to the presidential contest.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2 per cent to 28,390.18, while the broad-based S&P 500 also gained 2 per cent to 3,510.45. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.6 per cent to 11,890.93.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday, as a higher yen against the US dollar weighed on the market despite Wall Street rallies. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.2 per cent to 24,058.67 in early trade, while the broader Topix index edged down 0.2 per cent to 1,647.00.

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